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Hearing Needs Assessment leads to more RDN funding for ear and hearing services

1st August 2023

Screenshot 2023-07-20 154324The Healthy Ears - Better Hearing, Better Listening (HEBHBL) program is funded by the DoHAC as part of the Indigenous Australians' Health Programme. It aims to increase access to a range of ear and hearing health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, youth and young adults (0 – 21) for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of ear and hearing health conditions.

Health services supported under HEBHBL include:

  • ENT consultations 
  • Speech pathology 
  • Audiology 
  • Audiometry 

Following a Needs Assessment, RDN has committed to increased funding for ear and health services.

Needs Assessment leads to funding increase

The HEBHBL program has a far reach across NSW and ACT, however gaps in specific ear and hearing health services remain. Recently RDN conducted a comprehensive needs assessment of ear and hearing health services across the region to identify the gaps in services and areas of highest need.  

Surveys were sent to sixty-five stakeholders, of which thirty-five responded, including 20 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS). The survey asked respondents to identify which ear and hearing services currently exist for their clients and communities and what their top three needs, or gaps, are. This data was compared to sociodemographic data and reviewed against existing funding allocations, to triangulate priority service needs and geographical areas. The report is scheduled to be finalised and published in the second half of this year.  

As a result of this Needs Assessment, RDN is funding over 50% more ear and hearing health services in 2023-2024, than in the previous year. RDN is following up with its subcontractors and encouraging the submission of additional proposals for services and it is expected that the second half of the year will see the rollout of more services specifically tailored to address the current needs identified in the Needs Assessment.  

This initiative demonstrates RDN’s commitment towards improving access to ear and hearing health services in the region and ensuring services target identified needs and gaps. The increased funding and Needs Assessment have paved the way for targeted services that will benefit the community. By working closely with subcontractors and other providers, the needs assessment process has fostered collaboration and communication with providers working in the broader healthcare sector. 

For more information on this program or if you have an interest in providing ear and hearing health services, you can contact the RDN Outreach team at outreach@nswrdn.com.au




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