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Claimants Left in the Dark on Changes to ACC Funding

Claimants Left in the Dark on Changes to ACC Funding - Audiologists Left to Pick up the Pieces

Audiologists from around the country are frustrated and appalled at the ACC’s failure to tell hearing aid clients that funding and services have been cut – with many hearing impaired people ending up angry and despairing once they visit their audiologist.

The ACC cut full funding for audiological costs on 31 December 2010 in a bid to slash ACC spending. All new and existing hearing aid clients now have to contribute towards the payments associated with the maintenance of their hearing instruments and their audiological care.

“The ACC has not informed clients of these changes and consequently people are turning up to Audiology clinics around the country expecting to continue receiving services fully funded by the ACC,” says Peter Stubbing, President of the New Zealand Audiological Society. “When that turns out to not be the situation, audiologists and their front desk staff are bearing the brunt of the clients’ surprise, anger and frustration.

“ACC made these changes; The ACC should be informing their clients and should be feeling the brunt of their discontent rather than us.

“It is especially unfair on these people with permanent work related hearing loss to now find that the ACC solution to their problem was temporary and that they now have to contribute towards the costs associated with their hearing instruments. It is understandable that some of them become upset, however Audiologists are not the culprits.”

The New Zealand Audiological Society has urged ACC to take responsibility for the changes that they have made and to inform all existing clients of them.

“It appears as though the ACC prefers to hide behind Audiologists and other service providers rather than have their own staff face clients who have not been kept in the loop,” says Mr Stubbing.

The New Zealand Audiological Society is the professional organisation representing qualified Audiologists and audiology in New Zealand.

ENDS

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