James Reilly, Minister for Health recently announced that bi-lateral cochlear implants would be made available in the new HSE Service Plan 2014.
The Government is introducing a new bilateral cochlear implant service from 2014, to benefit children awaiting a second implant and simultaneous implantation for those who are born profoundly deaf from now. His health-service plan for 2014 listed €3.22 million to develop services for bilateral cochlear implants at the national cochlear implant centre in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.
Deanna Cairns of the Happy New Ear campaign said recently:
“The programme will take time to set up but it is envisaged that the first simultaneous cochlear implant surgery, where they implant both ears at the same time, will take place in May, and the first sequential implant surgery, where the recipient already has an implant, will commence in August. We have been helped along the way by so many people- TDs, journalists, parents and well wishers and we would like to thank them all for their support throughout the campaign.”
Campaigner Deanna’s son Billy has one cochlear implant and is on the waiting list for a second implant.
Tony O’Brien, Director General of the HSE, said that around 100 children will benefit from the funding, with 50 sequential and 50 simultaneous cochlear implants to be fitted in 2014.
They are hopeful that from next year, the number of surgeries will be increased. There are thought to be around 200 children in need of a second cochlear implant at the moment.
Free hearing tests are available to all at any of Hidden Hearing 65 clinics nationwide, for more information freephone 18 00 37 00 00 or our website www.hiddenhearing.ie