We are disappointed in the government’s decision not to continue with the additional $6.5 million funding boost to the adult cochlear implant programmes. This means many adults will continue to live in isolation, facing an uncertain future about when they will gain access to hearing.
Losing your hearing is frightening, and for those adults who have gone from a hearing world to a world of silence, the effects are devastating. One client likened the social isolation that it brought as a living death.
But there is hope. A cochlear implant can help them regain their hearing and connection with the world.
But in New Zealand, there is a baseline of only 40 implants for adults each year, with one off additional funding sometimes being granted. With an average of 180 new referrals coming through each year, the demand is exceeding the availability of implants. This means waiting times of two years is the normal for many adults.
This situation is not OK and is getting worse.
We need your help.
Please take a minute to tell your MP that you want all adults who need a cochlear implant to get one.