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Tuesday, 16 October 1984
Page: 1813

(Question No. 953)


Senator Hamer asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 7 June 1984:

(1) What age children are eligible for hearing equipment and service from the National Acoustics Laboratory.

(2) What is the cost to eligible children of hearing equipment and service from the National Acoustics Laboratory.

(3) What other people qualify for hearing equipment and service from the National Acoustics Laboratory.

(4) What is the cost to these eligible people of hearing equipment and service from the National Acoustics Laboratory.

(5) What is the cost of hearing equipment and service for people if they are not eligible under the present rules for equipment and service from the National Acoustics Laboratory.


Senator Grimes —The Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The following answer replaces that appearing in Hansard of 10 September 1984, page 761.

(1) Children are eligible for services from the National Acoustic Laboratory from birth to the age of 21 years.

(2) Eligible children receive hearing equipment and service from the National Acoustic Laboratories free of charge.

(3) Pensioners holding health benefit cards. Sickness beneficiaries holding health benefits cards. Persons referred by the Department of Veterans' Affairs. Serving members of the Armed Forces. Persons undergoing rehabilitation training through the Department of Social Security. Commonwealth Government employees where there is a Commonwealth liability for loss of hearing.

(4) Eligible people receive hearing equipment and service from the National Acoustic Laboratories free of charge.

(5) The latest published information was given by the Industries Assistance Commission in their report on 'Hearing Aids and Parts Therefore' of 17 December 1981. This report gave the retail price range for supplying and fitting of hearing aids as $400-$600 and an average retail price of $420-$450. Batteries cost about $50 per year.