Partnering with Hearing Australia

Your patients look to you for advice on their wellbeing. While you can offer insights, very few health professionals have the training and resources needed to properly address hearing problems.

Partnering with Hearing Australia ensures that patients are given the support they need and have access to services that can minimise the impacts of hearing loss.

Who are Hearing Australia?

Hearing Australia are the largest provider of government funded hearing services. Through the Community Service Obligation Program (CSO) it’s the sole provider of specialist hearing services for children, adults under 26, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults over 50 and adults who require high-level specialist services. For more information visit the About Hearing Australia page.

Why partner with Hearing Australia?

Hearing Australia has more than 250,000 customers Australia-wide and over 600 locations around the nation. Through the Outreach program more than 220 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander urban and rural sites receive support and service with Hearing Australia.

The National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) is the world-renowned research arm of Hearing Australia. 

Hearing Australia has extensive experience in helping health professionals with assessing and treating hearing loss. Learn more about how to refer your patients to Hearing Australia.

Why should health professionals be concerned about hearing health?

Currently one in six Australians has some form of hearing loss, and this is set to increase to one in four by 2050.1 It’s more crucial than ever to detect signs of hearing loss as quickly as possible to not increase an individual’s risk of developing other acute health conditions.

  • Hearing loss and cerebral and cardiovascular disorders: Poor cardiovascular health causes inadequate blood flow and blood vessel trauma to the inner ear. Since this section of the ear is sensitive to blood flow disorders hearing loss, particularly at the lower frequencies, may be an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease.

  • Hearing loss and diabetes: Researchers have discovered a higher rate of hearing loss in people with diabetes, and evidence exists that diabetes may lead to sensorineural hearing loss. This occurs by damaging the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear due to the pathological changes that are associated with the condition.

  • Hearing loss and cancer treatments: Research has revealed a strong link between hearing loss (and related conditions such as tinnitus) and cancer treatment. It’s important for both the doctor and patient to understand the risk of ototoxicity (ear poisoning) when treating cancer as it may lead to permanent hearing loss. While treatment is ongoing, an audiologist can assist with monitoring for ototoxicity and make recommendations for early intervention if possible.

  • Hearing loss and mental health: Studies show that people who wear hearing aids are less affected by depression, have improved health, and experience a better sense of independence and control over their lives.

Essentially, the quicker hearing loss is treated the less impact it will have on a person’s life.

Improving your patients’ hearing health

Encourage patients over 60 to get a hearing test: hearing loss becomes more prevalent with age so it’s important to make it a part of their annual health assessment. Hearing Australia can offer hearing check clinics for GP practices at no extra cost.

Eligibility for government funded services

Hearing Australia's services are covered under the Australian Government’s Hearing Services Program, administered by the Department of Health through the Office of Hearing Services (OHS).
Eligible applicants for government funded services

  • Pensioner Concession Card holders

  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Repatriation Health Card holders

  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs White Repatriation Health Card holders

  • Recipients of a sickness allowance from Centrelink

  • Members of the Australian Defence Forces

  • Children and young adults up to the age of 26 years

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 50 years and over.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples participating in Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP)

  • Adults with complex rehabilitation hearing needs

Services offered to eligible applicants

  • Hearing assessments

  • Fitting of hearing aids

  • Access to the latest digital hearing technology, including assistive listening devices

  • Repair and maintenance of hearing devices, including supply of batteries.

  • On-going follow up care and advice

  • Rehabilitation programs

  • Education for GPs about hearing health

  • Access to translators, and patient information in multiple languages

1. Economics, Access. The economic impact and cost of hearing loss in Australia. s.l. : Access Economics Pty Ltd, 2006.