Feb 2017 Scoop Independent News Health

Hearing loss is a significant issue facing the New Zealand population, as shown by a research report commissioned by the National Foundation for the Deaf. “The purpose of this research has been to draw back the curtain on the economic cost of hearing loss in our country which has never been done before” says Professor Peter Thorne, Foundation President.  Life Unlimited Hearing Therapy manager, Jessica Lissaman welcomes the new report. “The impact on people’s lives can be huge – hearing loss can be frustrating and lead to social isolation with far-reaching impacts.” Life Unlimited Hearing Therapy is contracted by the Ministry of Health to provide a national, free independent hearing therapy (aural rehabilitation) service to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents aged 16 years and over.

A snapshot of the “Listen Hear! New Zealand” report key findings shows that:

  • 880,350 people in New Zealand now live with some type of hearing loss, representing 18.9% of the population
  • the health sector costs is estimated at $131.8 million
  • the total loss of tax revenue is estimated to be $254.6 million
  • hearing loss costs the New Zealand economy $957.3 million
  • the net value of lost well-being and social impact is estimated at $3.9 billion
  • total cost of hearing loss is estimated at $4.9 billion