Rogers calling for action on hearing aid waitlists
NDP critic for Seniors, Wellness and Social Development Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) says there is a one-year waitlist in the Provincial Hearing Aid Program. This is causing further problems ranging from increased isolation to threat of job loss for people who are waiting for new hearing aids.
“It was reported to me that the Provincial Hearing Aid program is backed up by a year,” Rogers said in the House of Assembly today. “That’s a year for people who cannot hear, causing isolation, confusion, frustration! Some folks who have contacted us were in danger of losing their jobs while waiting.
“I ask the Minister how many people are on the waitlist for hearing aids?”
The Provincial Hearing Aid Program is designed to provide the devices to children, post-secondary students, and adults (including seniors) who can demonstrate financial need. Rogers says she has heard from several people who have been waiting up to a year to hear back from the program.
This, she says, is inhumane. One of her constituents is facing the major financial challenges that come from not being able to work combined with the low pension he draws from having worked mostly minimum wage jobs all his life. He is becoming increasingly isolated as a result of being unable to communicate with people.
Rogers wants the minister to come up with a solution to shorten the waiting list. She also wants to know how many of the people on the list are seniors, saying this is one situation in which the seniors’ advocate the party proposed last week would be able to help.