After this post, families in Ireland organised via the Sound Advice Facebook group, into the ‘Happy New Ear’ campaign for bilateral implants. At end-2013, the HSE announced that bilateral pediatric cochlear implants in Ireland would be funded.
Despite the progress of Ireland’s national newborn hearing test programme, parents have concerns about the lack of two (bilateral) cochlear implant surgeries for their children, when these are international best practice.
One family in Cork has considered emigrating to the UK to access NHS services after learning their baby’s second implant could take five years.
Having two simultaneous implants is practical in terms of the benefits, and in terms of economies of scale. Profoundly deaf children who receive two implants gain ‘surround’ sound with better ability to locate noise sources. Despite this, over 350 children are awaiting a second implant on the HSE.
While one implant is better than none, simultaneous bilateral implants for children gives the best possible start to their hearing journey and education. One family in Cork is trying to get a second implant after not being told of their son’s deafness, 17 months after this was detected during HSE tests.
Bilateral implants are state-funded in the UK and in Australia, but not in New Zealand. Families in NZ and some US states often fundraise for a second implant, based on their healthcare program and/or available savings.
* Since this post, several families in Ireland have self-organised via the Sound Advice Facebook group, into the ‘Happy New Ear’ campaign for bilateral implants.
As of February 2013, dialogue is said to be continuing with no resolution yet.
- ‘Happy New Ear’ families to write to health minister on implants
- Family Gets Apology From HSE For Misdiagnosis
- HSE Takes Proactive Steps On State Hearing Tests
- The Sky’s The Limit, When Parents Are Informed
- After A Cochlear Implant – The Real Work Begins
- Bilingual, Spoken Language At Home And School
- One Language May Be Better For Children With Implants
- Massachusetts Prices The Cost Of Not Intervening
- Cochlear Implants Appreciated By Their Recipients