If you missed it, The ABC’s CheckOut program recently did a segment on the hearing aid industry in Australia. It provides some enlightening insights into the industry and some tips to ensure you get the right hearing health treatment for you.
You can watch the segment below but here are the main takeaways:
The hearing aid industry in Australia is not regulated. Anyone can set up shop and “prescribe” hearing aids calling themselves an audiologist. That’s why it’s imperative that you check that your clinician is a fully qualified audiologist.
Some clinics set sales targets for their clinicians and reward them with commissions raising the issue of prescribing for profit rather than best fit.
Some clinics train their staff in sales techniques to sell more expensive aids and have competitions to see who can sell the most.
1 in 3 people who are sold a hearing aid don’t use them either because they didn’t go through the proper fitting and rehabilitation, or because they didn’t need one at all.
Many hearing clinics are owned by hearing aid manufacturers. The following clinics are owned by manufacturers:
To avoid the conflict of interest ensure you seek out a fully qualified independent audiologist at aaapp.org.au
Ask questions about your audiologist’s recommendations and whether a more cost-effective model would have the same benefit for your hearing – discuss your specific needs (budget and lifestyle) with your audiologist.
You might find cheaper models online but you will still need to pay an audiologist to fit and adjust the device and ongoing rehabilitation.
Some people may be eligible for free Government assistance (eg some pensioners, DVA card holders and others) via the Office of Hearing Services Program (OHS) – see hearingservices.gov.au for eligibility
Even if you get funding via the Government for hearing aids, some clinics train their staff to upsell you to what’s called “top-ups” – devices above and beyond what’s provided for under the OHS Program – which will cost you money.
All goods and services provided by audiologists are covered by Australian consumer laws like being fit for purpose.
For more information on your rights and getting the best from your hearing health provider check out the following resources:
Our hearing treatment is based on our five ethical practice principles: accurate, expert diagnosis; evidence-based treatment; transparent, competitive pricing; free from commissions and sales targets; independence. This means you get the right solution for you, your lifestyle, and your budget. Compare prices on all hearing aids on our products page. As we unbundle all pricing you see exactly what you are paying for what.
Clarity is proudly independently Queensland-owned and provide advanced hearing aids and audiological expertise in hearings aids, accessories, balance/vestibular and CAP testing, cochlear implants and bone anchored hearing aids. We have clinics throughout metro, regional and remote Queensland and provide remote telehealth services where required.
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