We were expecting to hear last week whether the Ministry of Health had got the funding of bilateral Cochlear Implants into this year’s planned policy work programme. Today we received an update that the work programme is still being worked upon and the Ministry officials are still working to get this issue onto it..

We also understand that some revised wording for the Ministry’s website is currently with the two CI programme clinicians for consultation.

So we are seeing some movement on this issue, although it is distressingly slow.

We are continually reminded that every two weeks another child is being put through an additional surgery and a second lot of therapy. This child’s family is going to be put through an additional 6 months of disruption to their routines of life. And this child will not have the very best outcome possible.

In addition, another child will cross the threshold of not ever being able to get good benefit out of a second Cochlear Implant. They will have the option of hearing with two ears taken away from them.

As an advocacy group we recognise that government organisations need to follow their processes. It is however distressing to see this process costing small children.

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