Media Release – Parties unite to make ACT a leader in hearing health reform
The ACT has become the first territory or state to pledge bi-partisan political support for making hearing Australia’s 10th national health priority.
In the lead up to Saturday’s ACT election The Labor Government, the Opposition and ACT Greens have committed to support priority health funding for hearing health and well-being,
It’ a huge win for up to 60,000 Canberrans who have some degree of hearing loss, are Deaf or live with ear and balance disorders such as tinnitus and Meniere’s disease, and their families.
Reduced hearing impacts on a person’s life chances through the limiting the opportunity to participate in education, to gain competitive skills and employment and to participate in relationships and social life.
Deafness Forum of Australia Chair David Brady said the Break the Sound Barrier campaign has united the community, hearing professionals and the services providers in a grassroots movement to make hearing health and well-being a national health priority.
“If we can make hearing health and well-being a national health priority we can unlock funds for increased hearing health awareness, early intervention, access to essential hearing services and technology, more Auslan support and desperately needed research,” Mr Brady said.
“We can also begin to properly address an issue that costs Australia at least $11 billion a year in avoidable health costs and lost productivity.
“Australia’s national health priorities are decided by health ministers in each state and territory and the Federal Health Minister, which is why this unanimous support and leadership by the ACT is so important.”
The party responses:
‘If re-elected, an ACT Labor Government will support including hearing as a COAG national health priority, along with wider examination and action on preventative health issues,’ Chief Minister Andrew Barr