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Cochlear implants programme delivers results

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

12 May 2016

Cochlear implants programme delivers results

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a Ministry of Health review of the cochlear implant programme for children shows positive results.

“Cochlear implants are life changing as they can significantly improve a child’s hearing and learning ability,” says Dr Coleman.

“Budget 2014 provided an extra $6.3 million over four years for a bilateral cochlear implant programme for children.

“As a result of this programme, 61 children have to date received two cochlear implants, and a further 20 children have received a single implant.

“In conjunction with the universal newborn hearing screening and early intervention programme young children are being identified, diagnosed and receiving implants by 12 months of age in the majority of cases.

“The review by the Ministry shows those involved in the programme are positive about the results for children who have received implants.”

The programme is managed by the Southern Cochlear Implant Programme (Southern Trust) and the Northern Cochlear Implant Trust (Northern Trust).

“The Trusts are working to further improve services to better meet regional needs,” says Dr Coleman.

“In 2015, the Southern Trust, based in Christchurch, opened a second satellite centre in Wellington to provide ongoing services post implant to the lower North Island, which makes up 40 per cent of their caseload.

“In the Northern Trust region, some children living outside of Auckland have had their cochlear implant programmed remotely, saving time and travel costs.”

ENDS

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