Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Ceisteanna (220)

John Brady


220. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her views on the low uptake of hearing aids; her further views on whether cost is a barrier to low and middle-income workers when it comes to accessing hearing aids and the severe repercussions on health and well-being as a result; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37864/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The uptake of grants towards the purchase of hearing aids under the Departments Treatment benefit scheme has seen a 100% increase over the last 10 years, with almost €80m spent on the scheme over that period.

Access to hearing aids is provided for under the Departments PRSI scheme and the HSE parallel scheme, which provides medical card holders with access to free hearing aids.  The availability provided under the two schemes offers access to quality hearing aids to all sectors of society, either completely free or with a significant grant payable towards their cost.

 The Department encourages those who require hearing aids to avail of the relevant scheme to ensure they get the appropriate device to match their needs. 

Any changes to the current arrangements would have to be considered in an overall policy and budgetary context.