Joint Media Release
The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
Trevor Evans MP
Federal Member for Brisbane
5 April 2019
The Liberal National Government will invest $200,000 over two years to improve hearing screening services to over 6,500 children living in Queensland.
Government funding delivered through world leading experts, Hear and Say will broaden access to audiology services via a school hearing screening program headquartered in Brisbane.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said the announcement would help future proof the program for years to come.
Optimal hearing is critical to ensure children can achieve their full potential, at school and in life generally, If children can’t hear, they can’t learn,” Minister Hunt said.
The program will primarily target primary school students up to the age of 6 years, aiming to identify children with previously undiagnosed hearing and ear health issues, and provide critical intervention, ensuring they can go on to reach their full potential in life.
Federal Member for Brisbane, Trevor Evans, welcomed the announcement and praised Hear and Say for the valuable work they do in the Brisbane community.
“Each year, up to three babies in every 1,000 across Australia are affected by hearing loss, and this figure doubles by the time children reach school age,” Mr Evans said.
“Hear and Say’s school hearing program has been a resounding success – so I’m very pleased that this federal government funding will now enable this program to continue to help kids and families across Brisbane.”
Although all Australian newborns are now screened for deafness at birth, many childhood hearing losses have a later onset, which can impact upon a child’s brain development, social capabilities, emotional wellbeing and academic performance.
Hearing screening is not currently delivered universally in primary or secondary schools, making Hear To Learn the only program of its kind in Queensland.
The program is overseen by Hear and Say’s team of specialist paediatric audiologists.
The Liberal National Government’s strong economic management ensures the continued record investment of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.