Recently the 2ears2hear team submitted an Official Information Act request to confirm the funding and contacting arrangements between the Ministry of Health and the two cochlear implant trusts.
The Ministry has replied and confirmed the following:
- The current service specification the implant programmes are contracted to is version 1.2.
- The funding of the service provides for:
- 46 new implants for kiwi kids each year
- 40 new implants for adults each year
The figures show that on average it costs $3225 per annum to support a child and $2066 per annum to support an adult. These figures include processor replacements.
When compared to other options, such as the provision of full NZSL interpreter support for school children (estimated to cost “between $45,000 and $50,000 per annum”), $3225 is an insignificant level of expenditure.
The figures show that New Zealand’s cochlear implant programmes provide excellent value for the funding the government provides. They are both efficient and effective at providing significant improvements to the quality of life of the over 1000 cochlear users they support.