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Hearing Healthcare Initiative - Q&A

Hearing Healthcare Initiative- Political Party Survey

The Canadian Hearing Society received responses to the following questions from all political parties except the Progressive Conservative Party. Please note that the content below reflects the information provided to us by each party’s representative in each riding:

1.Adding a referral for hearing testing as part of annual doctors’ examination for aging adults: Do you and your party support a standardized practice of physicians adding a referral for hearing testing as part of their annual health examination for aging adults in order to ensure it is not overlooked? 

NDP

  • Yes 

Green Party

  • Yes, we support the practice of adding a referral for hearing testing as part of annual health examinations for aging adults. The Green Party recognizes the importance of investments that will improve the care that is available to seniors.

Liberal 

  • OHIP insures diagnostic hearing tests ordered and performed by qualified physicians. In addition, Ontarians are now able to receive OHIP insured personal health visits with their physician. During such visits, the physician and patient can discuss screenings for health issues related to a patient’s medical history and lifestyle. These visits allow doctors to properly assess an individual patients needs to so that they can get the quality care they deserve.

2. Ensuring prevention programs are in schools to educate youth on the importance of protecting their hearing: Do you and your party support ensuring there are prevention programs in schools to educate youth on the importance of protecting their hearing?

NDP

  • Yes 

Green Party

  • Yes. We are committed to making health promotion and illness prevention a top priority and understand the importance of educating youth on the importance of protecting their hearing

Liberal  

  • Our government is committed to giving students with special education needs the support that they need to succeed. We’re making changes to be even more responsive to these needs – to ensure that boards have the resources they need to deliver high quality programs to our students. The Special Education Grant (SEG) has an increased by of over $891 million or 55% since 2003. The Canadian Hearing Society does excellent work on behalf of Ontarians and is a strong advocate for the hard of hearing and deaf. We've worked with CHS to develop the Barrier-Free Education Initiatives Project to assist school boards in creating a more inclusive barrier-free learning environment for Deaf and hard of hearing students. We will continue to collaborate with stakeholders such as VOICE for the Hearing Impaired, the Canadian Hearing Society and the Ontario Association for the Deaf about ways to raise further awareness about the importance of protecting hearing and improve the capacity of the education system to better serve students who are Deaf and hard of hearing.

3. Improving the management of hearing loss to reduce the impact on provincial health and social support systems: Will you and your party work to improve the management of hearing loss to reduce the impact on provincial health and social support systems?

NDP

  • Yes 

Green Party

  • The Green Party has long been aware that our healthcare system is facing unprecedented challenges and we are committed to ensuring that our public healthcare system not only works for today but is sustainable for the next generation. We would support policies that improve the management of hearing loss and reduce the impact on provincial health and social support systems.

Liberal

  • All newborn babies in Ontario can have their hearing screened, either in the hospital when they are born, or at a community screening clinic. As children grow older, other assessment techniques are used to monitor hearing over time. Ongoing audiology reassessment is important because it allows changes in hearing over time to be identified. Infants who meet certain criteria will be eligible for the province's Cochlear Implant Program. Audiologists from the Infant Hearing and Cochlear Implant programs work together to assess the needs of the infant, and to decide whether an implant might be an option.

4. Funding for the expansion of the Canadian Hearing Society’s CONNECT mental health program: Do you and your party support funding for the expansion of the Canadian Hearing Society’s Hearing Healthcare program as part of the Ontario Government’s provincial strategy on a Hearing Healthcare Initiative?

NDP

  • Yes

Green Party

  • Yes, we know our healthcare system needs to address not only acute care but also mental and chronic health issues. We recognize that there have been multiple studies over the years with good recommendations on how to build a better healthcare system, including mental health. We would prioritize turning these recommendations into action so that we can see real change with regards to mental health programs in Ontario. We would work with the Canadian Hearing Society and other stakeholders to find solutions to assist individuals suffering from hearing loss with mental health issues, including addressing funding gaps.

Liberal

  • The Liberal government recognizes the impact hearing loss can have on one's mental health and remains committed to supporting CHS's CONNECT counselling services.  We share CHS's goal to increase the accessibility of mental health services, and have made progress through Ontario's Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.  As we approach year four of the Strategy, we will continue our focus on vulnerable populations and remain committed to reducing any avoidable risk of mental illness and addiction.

5. Funding for the expansion of the Canadian Hearing Society’s employment services program: Will you and your party work to improve resources to continue to work with our consumers to find them secure, stable employment by providing this essential, specialized service and support our consumers?

NDP

  • Yes

Green Party

  • The Green Party would support programs like the CHS' employment services program to help consumers find secure, stable employment. We would prioritize programs and policies that help people find jobs that provide adequate income to meet basic needs. This includes exploring the best system for providing livable take home wages and investments in training and education for workers.

Liberal

  • Customer Service Standards established under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) requires organizations to provide goods and services in ways that take the needs of people with disabilities into account. As of January 1, 2012 private and non-profit organizations were required to comply with the standard. Accessible customer service is about understanding that people with disabilities may have different needs, and finding the best ways to help them. Customer Service Standards became law in 2008 and are reviewed at 5 year intervals to ensure that customers with disabilities have the supports they require to access goods and services across the province. It was our government that enacted the AODA and we remain committed to pursuing opportunities to incorporate accessibility within our programs and to integrate accessibility across all lines of business in Ontario.
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