New Zealand has a very small Cochlear Implant community. A recent exercise (August 2012) combined the numbers from the Northern and Southern Cochlear Implant programmes. Here are some of the key numbers:

  • There are a total of 851 people with Cochlear Implants. 526 are adults and 325 are children (0-18yo)
  • 351 Cochlear Implant users are serviced by the Northern programme. 500 are serviced by the Southern programme.
  • The Northern Programme has 196 adults and 155 children. Of those children, 14 are under 5yo.
  • The Southern Programme has 330 adults and 170 children. Of those children, 33 are under 5yo.
  • 16% of children have bilateral implants. 2% of adults have bilateral implants.
  • 30% of under 5yo have bilateral implants.

The following implants are currently funded:

  • 16 Universal New Born Hearing Screening identified children (8 in the Northern programme and 8 in the Southern Programme)
  • 30 children (15 in the Northern programme and 15 in the Southern Programme)
  • 15 Fully funded adults (5 in the Northern programme and 10 in the Southern Programme)
  • 10 Partially funded adults – where the patient contributes half the cost (Northern Programme only)

Where child implant funding is not used, it is expended on adult implants. In addition, the Ministry of Health sometimes provides additional ad-hoc funding, when available.

There is no waiting list for children in New Zealand, although only one Cochlear Implant is funded. For adults there is a prioritised waiting list. The inflow into this list is now greater than the number of funded operations.

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