Certain health services are provided free of charge to children in Ireland, regardless of whether their parents hold a medical card.
Public health nurses visit infants at home soon after birth and routine developmental checks are scheduled when a child is about 9 months old.
If parents are concerned about their child’s hearing before this, the matter can be raised with the public health nurse, or by visiting a health centre.
Deaf children in Ireland are entitled to:
* Hearing-aids free on the HSE up to 18 years of age, or until full-time education ends
* Bilateral cochlear implants free on the HSE (tax rebates may be given for travel expenses to the national cochlear implant centre in Dublin)
The Department of Education also provides:
* Free radio aids and / or sound field systems for deaf children of primary school-going age upwards, for school use only.
The visiting teachers of the deaf make this application on behalf of the family. A case has been made to equip children with radio aids as soon as hearing-aids are prescribed, but this may take some time to be approved.
The Department of Health/Cochlear Implant Centre provide:
* Leads or adaptors to link cochlear implants to radio aids. These transfer sounds directly from the teacher into the child’s ear, without ambient noise.