NOTE: Since this post at end-2012, HSE access to bilateral pediatric cochlear implants is available to eligible children aged under 18 in Ireland, as a result of this campaign.
Last month, the Irish Examiner revealed that over 350 children are awaiting second cochlear implants from Beaumont Hospital’s pediatric service, due to HSE caps on budgets for public spending on health and audiology services.
Children in Ireland currently receive one cochlear implant, in contrast to other countries where two implants (simultaneous or sequential) are seen as best practice for both ears to benefit most from the hearing technology.
In July 2012, the Examiner highlighted a HSE apology to a Cork family for repeated misdiagnosis of hearing issues in their son. Instead of suing the HSE, his parents are seeking a second implant for their son. He has been approved for the surgery, but the HSE policy is stalling the process.
Parent Campaign For Bilateral Cochlear Implants
Before Christmas 2012, the Irish Examiner reported that a group of parents had described via the (then-IDK) Facebook page, the impact this delay was having on their children – and on the families of these same children.
With some of these children waiting over six years for a second implant, these parents took action. They created a video addressed to James Reilly, the Minister for Health and to the CEO of Beaumont Hospital:
Twelve days after this video posted to YouTube, several parents met with Minister James Reilly, and executives from the HSE and Beaumont Hospital. This meeting resulted instead of a protest, as the Examiner had reported.
Everyone is awaiting further news, given the potential benefit of a second, life-changing cochlear implant to the families involved – who know a second device will benefit their childrens’ social, educational, and life prospects.
- Cochlear Implants – their impact on children and families
- The National Cochlear Implant Programme at Beaumont Hospital