Letter to the Department of Health regarding changes to the Hearing Services Program


Summary

Date: 13 January 2020

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners invites the Department of Health to respond to its recent change to the Hearing Services Program (HSP) removing the requirement for patients to have a general practitioner sign a medical certificate before accessing the program.

The RACGP notes that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in 2017 reported issues and concerns around the sale of hearing aids, particularly the unethical commission-based sales models, pressure tactics and up-selling of unnecessary expensive hearing aids to vulnerable consumers.

The removal of a GP check prior to accessing the HSP also removes the opportunity to identify treatable and reversible hearing problems which do not require a hearing aid.