Modernising the Hearing Services Program

The Hearing Services Program is currently under review by a government appointed panel to identify opportunities to modernise the Program. The review takes into consideration current policy, market trends and new technological developments, whilst maintaining a strong client-centred focus.  

Hearing Australia welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the Program review as we see first-hand the significant value the Program delivers to our clients. Services funded by the Program change people’s lives for the better and are internationally recognised. The Review presents an opportunity to build on this success and to modernise the Program to increase its value to consumers and the taxpayer.  

Our recommendations focus on: 

  • making it easier for eligible consumers to access the hearing help they need, regardless of where they live in Australia  

  • redefining the outcomes of the Program to include the prevention of hearing loss  

  • locking in the use of telehealth services and the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic  

  • reducing administrative burden and red tape for government, service providers and consumers 

  • removing the concept of a ‘voucher’ and replacing it with a model that better reflects the value of the services available to consumers consistent with modern online services, and  

  • making client journeys smoother and seamless, including improving coordination between the Program, State and Territory government health services.  

You can read our submission to the Expert Review Panel here 

In modernising the Program, we also recommend moving away from a complex rules-based service delivery model to one that allows greater flexibility to meet clients’ needs, based on professional clinical expertise.   
We recognise that some of our recommendations could require increased government funding for the Program.  As a result, we encourage the Expert Review Panel to consider assessing the current return on investment of the Program and the additional benefits associated with modernising the Program.   

Find out more: 
Hearing Services Program Expert Review Panel 
Hearing Services Program Expert Review Panel Terms of Reference 

More about Hearing Australia: 

Hearing Australia is a Corporate Commonwealth entity established under the Australian Hearing Services Act 1991. We have extensive experience in delivering the Program for both ‘Voucher’ services and the Community Service Obligations (CSO) program.   

Over the past 30 years we have helped over a million children, young adults, adults, pensioners, veterans and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia. We have a national network of some 170 permanent hearing centres and 350 visiting centres, an Outreach program and dedicated call centre and digital services.   

More about how the Program and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) work together: