Minister Launches Pilbara Ear Health Model Of Care

Minister Launches Pilbara Ear Health Model Of Care

Western Australia Minister for Health John Day

Ear Health Care Promises Healthier Pilbara Future

Victor P Taffa

  • Comprehensive new Model of Care targets ear disease
  • 10 Principles of Best Practice to build on 2013 otitis media project
  • Particular focus on improved outcomes for Aboriginal children

A unique collaboration between the WA Country Health Service, Telethon Speech and Hearing and Chevron is set to improve ear health and hearing across the Pilbara.

Launching the Pilbara Ear Health Model of Care today, Health Minister John Day said it would build on the Liberal National Government’s 2013 Otitis Media Model of Care, by targeting prevention, early identification and treatment of hearing loss.

“The lifelong impacts of childhood deafness can be devastating. It has a profound effect on communication, education, literacy, socialisation and the ability to obtain employment.” Mr. Day said.

 

“Aboriginal people experience some of the highest levels of ear disease and hearing loss in the world, with rates up to 10 times more than those of non-Aboriginal people.”

“The major challenges regarding the delivery of ear health services in the Pilbara and all remote locations are the high incidence of otitis media, especially among Aboriginal children, and access to specialist care including tertiary medical and remediation services.”

Otitis media infection of the middle ear is a common childhood illness that, without appropriate treatment, leads to temporary or permanent hearing loss.

Strongly supported by Chevron, the Pilbara Ear Health Model of Care is a comprehensive guide to improving ear health outcomes, with 10 Principles of Best Practice ranging from disease prevention and targeting of at-risk groups, to specialist training and education services.

“I commend Chevron for providing funding for this invaluable work and to all the agencies involved in the development of the model.” Mr. Day said.

“This ear health blueprint is the culmination of significant work, with the one purpose – to forge a better future for Pilbara communities through better hearing.”

“The Pilbara Ear Health Model of Care is a very exciting achievement for Western Australia and showcases the work of the WA Country Health Service, Telethon Speech and Hearing and other health providers in the Pilbara.” Mr. Day said.

Fact File

  • Hearing loss affects one in six Australians and by 2050 is expected to affect one in four
  • Pilbara Ear Health Model of Care includes a detailed work plan and best practice guidelines for health workers, ranging from childcare staff to therapists and surgeons
  • Chevron has committed to multi-year support for the program, including recognition as a Telethon Million Dollar partner in 2016