Cochlear implants to almost double in government funding boost
Nearly 100 deaf or hearing-impaired Victorians will receive a cochlear implant, as the state government pledges a funding boost amid hearing awareness week.
More than $80 million will be given to the Eye and Ear Hospital by the Victorian government this year – a $7.8 million increase from last year - which will allow the hospital to almost double the amount of cochlear implantations.
“We often talk in health care about statistics and outcomes, and the most important thing we need to remember is about making sure people can live full and meaningful lives,” Ms Hennessy said. “Part of this funding will enable us to double the number of people that can receive implants each year – and better leverage the medical discoveries that are made.”
It was the doctors at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital who granted five-year-old Lily King the gift of colourful cochlear implants when she was born profoundly deaf.
Her mother, Sandra King, said it was a moment she will never forget. “We really didn’t know what her future held at the start. Selfishly, when she could hear me say ‘I love you’ was the best moment,” Ms King said. “It’s life-changing to give people that opportunity to integrate into society, and to have dignity is incredibly important.”
The contribution was welcomed by the pioneer of the bionic ear, Professor Graeme Clark, who created it more than 30 years ago.
“This cochlear care centre is an exciting innovation in the provision of healthcare, taking our work to a new level,” Professor Clark said.