'Shocking' four year wait to get hearing aids through HSE in Laois

Four year wait for hearing aid in Laois through HSE.

Four year wait for hearing aid in Laois through HSE.

People in Laois face a wait of up to four years for a hearing aid, according to the Health Service Executive.

In response to Sean Fleming TD, the HSE confirmed that the current waiting time for people looking for hearing aids is 3½to 4 years for people who have been given a routine referral for a hearing aid by the local GP.

The TD was also told that people must have 'other medical conditions' before the waiting time can be 'reviewed'.

The Fianna Fáil TD said he was shocked by what he termed was a scandalous wait facing patients.

"I received this letter from the HSE in recent days confirming this following my contact with them on behalf of an elderly gentleman in Co. Laois.

"I was shocked to be informed that there is such a waiting list and it is totally unacceptable and the HSE must immediately take action to ensure that these waiting lists are reduced immediately. This will mean that people who require hearing aids and whose hearing is very weak and it is interfering with the quality of life will have to wait up to 4 years.

"These four year waiting lists are a scandal and the HSE must address the staffing issues to ensure they are shortened. If this means bringing in people temporarily to clear the backlog and this must be done," said Dep Fleming.

Mr Pat Bennett, chief officer for the Midlands, Louth, Meath Community Health Organisation supplied the update. He said the case raised by the TD may be reviewed should the man have other medical conditions. 

Mr Bennett suggested that a supporting letter from a GP or hospital consultant be referred for review to the Laois Offaly Audiology and hearing aid service in Portlaoise.

The chief officer regretted that his repsonse could not be more favourable.

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