17 May 2004

Increased funding for digital hearing aids

The hearing health care of Northern Ireland has been granted an additional GBP500,000 annually for 2004 and 2005.

The funding from the Ministry for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, is intended to help increase the supply of digital hearing aids and modernise the audiology services.

The additional money is good news for Northern Ireland's approximately 240,000 hearing impaired people who can expect improvements in their treatment and more modern hearing aids.

- This is great news for deaf and hard of hearing people in Northern Ireland. Modernising audiology services based on digital hearing technology will go a long way towards transforming people's lives. Tests show that digital hearing aids deliver a 40% increase in patient benefit, said Brian Symington, the Northern Ireland Director of RNID.

Northern Ireland has seen steady improvements in its hearing health care. In 2003, GBP500,000 was granted for the replacement of outdated hearing screening equipment in 12 hospital audiology departments across Nothern Ireland.

Source: RNID, press release "RNID welcomes half a million pound funding for digital hearing aids in Northern Ireland", www.rnid.org.uk

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