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February 03, 2005

Record queues for hearing aids

Danes with hearing problems need to steel themselves with patience if they want to be pre-examined for a hearing aid. Waiting time for one hospital is 20 months.

Nationwide, people who have a hearing impairment have to wait an average nine months before they can be examined.

In the capital city Copenhagen, and in several other larger cities, waiting times are even longer than the national average and range between 12 and 17 months.

"Impaired hearing has a large impact on a person's sense of dignity and on their social life. People with hearing problems risk losing their jobs if they are not treated quickly and effectively. What we need, is a political guarantee that there will be shorter waiting times for those who cannot cope before they receive the right treatment," says Søren Dalmark, chairman of the National Association of Hearing Impaired in Denmark, Landsforeningen for Bedre Hørelse, told the www.hoerelse.info website.

According to the Danish organization, record-long waiting lists are primarily due to the lack of audiology assistants in the many Danish public hospitals.

Source: www.hoerelse.info, www.berlingske.dk, February 2, 2005

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