Our government has made the move to close Saskatchewan's Hearing Aid Program services to infants with hearing loss, as a cost savings measure for the provincial deficit. Elimination of the program will result in the loss of 9 audiology positions that are responsible for the provision of services to vulnerable citizens—including services to infants identified through the infant hearing program in Saskatoon. This is a move by our government that lacks foresight and consideration of the health care needs of children in our province in the absence of a province-wide Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program in Saskatchewan and increases the difficulty of accessing audiology services in our province.
Important points to be aware of:
- There will be longer wait times to see an audiologist
- Lack of such a program will lead to more difficulty in the detection of hearing loss at an early age, and more long term support costs.
- Hearing loss is one of the most common congenital conditions for infants
- The absence of a provincial program for infants with hearing loss in Saskatchewan is a disservice to many of the youngest and most vulnerable citizens of the province
- In light of the high educational and vocational support costs associated with unidentified hearing loss, early hearing programs lead to savings in other publicly funded areas.
Budgetary constraints should never have resulted in the government taking such an extreme action that impacts a vital health service impacting the hearing services for children. All children in our province deserve a chance to hear and communicate and a chance to succeed. Please join with us to call on the government to stop its cutting of the provincial hearing aid program for infants in our province.
Please download, sign and pledge your support to stop the cuts to the hearing aid plan for infants for Saskatchewan.