Shhhh, we?ve cut funding for cochlear implants, don?t tell anyone

The man who didn’t make it into medical school, who is in charge of our Health Ministry and who became the Health Minister because he “wanted to make a difference” has canned funding which would help New Zealanders to hear. ?Quote:

The Government has quietly cancelled extra funding for cochlear implants, despite a successful campaign for publicly-funded devices for every Kiwi who needed one.

Levin surf lifesaver Danielle?McKay spearheaded the campaign after she waited three years for the surgery. She said the decision to slash?the $6.5million?funding boost was “shocking” and “disappointing.”

Health Minister David Clark refused to comment on the cut. But a spokesman confirmed that extra funding was not extended in this year’s Budget.[?]? End of quote.

Well, that’s “making a difference”, just not in a good way. It’s bad enough that they have cut funding, but to refuse to comment suggests that they are trying to be sneaky about it and are hoping no one will notice. I guess he doesn’t want to answer any tricky questions. Like how this decision fits with his criticism of the previous government and their “nine years of underinvestment” in health.

Back in March this year, Ms Ardern and Mr Peters splashed out almost $10 million dollars on Samoa during their Pacific lolly scramble. Of that, 6.5 million dollars was to help young people and women to set up small businesses. Now they are cutting the same amount in funding for cochlear implants for kiwis who can’t hear. Doesn’t sound fair to me.? Quote:

[?]”Getting the cochlear implant was a whole new world, and baby steps to learn the new sounds and the whole experience of it. I’m glad I did it, and very happy that now it’s been over six months. I’m still learning new sounds every day … not long ago, for the very very first time, I heard birds singing ? what an experience ? I?have no words.

The devices and operation cost around $50,000. Then processors must be replaced every seven years, costing about $10,000.

Clark should find that money to help other deaf people “to be able to hear the world,” McKay said.

“It’s an experience that deaf people will love and never forget.”

Michael Woodhouse, National Party spokesman for health said it was?unimpressed with the move.

It’s a callous and disgraceful decision which is going to see people lose their hearing when they don’t need to,” Woodhouse said. “We?boosted the number of funded cochlear implants for adults and sped up access to implants for children.”? End of quote.

Yet we constantly hear this government harping on about nine years of neglect and underfunding.? Now a service that was increased under National is being slashed under Labour.? How progressive.? Quote:

Furthermore, Woodhouse was exasperated the increased tax dollar was being spent on diplomats, and free tertiary education.

“This Government doesn’t see saving the hearing of hundreds of New Zealanders as a priority and those hundreds of New Zealanders and their families will be bitterly disappointed.

Let’s not forget this Government has claimed for years there was a health crisis and now they’re in Government they’re cutting funding. They’ve also broken their election promise to establish a fund to pay for drugs for people with rare diseases.

“It’s a disgrace.”? End of quote.

It sure is.? Despite lambasting the previous government for underinvestment in health, they are cutting funding, sneakily, quietly, a little nip here, a little tuck there, hoping that no-one will notice.

Meanwhile, the government is spending $40 million for an embassy in Sweden, and $340 million on the “this year’s on us” first year free tertiary education policy.

I guess they consider helping 60 people a year to hear is just not that important.