Hearing Services Program Review | Australian Government Department of Health
August 13, 2020
A review of the Hearing Services Program has begun.
A panel of experts, led by Professor Mike Woods and panelist Dr Zena Burgess PhD, will review the program and identify possible reforms to ensure the program remains client-focused while modernizing key components in the context of policy developments , markets and technologies.
With an aging population and growing demand for hearing services, the social and economic costs of hearing loss in Australia are significant. The Committee will review the Program, which has been in place since 1997.
The hearing services program review will focus on:
- whether the program provides services aligned with clinical needs and contemporary service delivery
- how the device voucher and maintenance payment system compares to advances in manufacturing and product offerings
- how technology is changing service delivery through the program
- how program services are currently delivered and whether access can be improved for vulnerable Australians and in narrow markets, such as regional, rural and remote areas.
This aligns with the government’s broader agenda to reform rural health.
“I am delighted to have been appointed to lead this review and to work with Dr Burgess,” says Professor Woods. “Access to quality hearing health services for Australians who are hard of hearing is vital. The Hearing Services Program Review provides a valuable opportunity to modernize and deliver a program that is more focused on client outcomes and supported by a solid database.
With her experience living and working in the Victoria area, Dr. Burgess understands the challenges faced by remote patients. She is particularly interested in empowering patients to determine their own health outcomes.
“I have a great interest in health reform and consumer health outcomes, particularly as they relate to hearing,” says Dr. Burgess. “This review provides a valuable opportunity to provide an accessible, fair and equitable hearing health program.”
The Group will be in place from July 2020 to June 2021 and will submit a final report to the government in July 2021.