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NHS Hearing Aids - Free But at What Price?
Date:2/23/2011

hearing loss becomes truly unbearable for them and their friends and family. If patients were offered more cosmetic solutions then they would be more likely to do something sooner rather than later. No matter how amazing the technology or how "free" it is makes little difference if someone simply won't the hearing aids. The NHS mainly offers standard behind-the-ear hearing aids with a quite noticeable plastic earpiece.

Reprogramming and fine tuning

Virtually all hearing aids available today, be they private or NHS, are digital and programmable. This means that the hearing aids can be reprogrammed to match the hearing loss as and when the hearing deteriorates. Unfortunately, the NHS simply do not have the capacity to retest, reprogram and fine tune hearing aids on an on-going basis. This service is one of the benefits of seeking a private hearing aid dispenser. This is perhaps the most important aspect of delivering the maximum benefit from wearing hearing aids which is sadly overlooked in the public sector.

The NHS in the UK is the largest single purchaser of hearing aids in the world – not just the UK. The price of private hearing aids in the UK is amongst the highest in the world. The 2 facts are intrinsically linked. Most people get their "free" NHS hearing aid and never go privately. The result is that the private market is shrunk. The private hearing aid retailers are therefore left fighting over a relatively small market. In order to attract these clients they need to invest heavily in marketing which results in the prices of the hearing aids being inflated. In other countries where there is little or no public provision, prices of private hearing aids are substantially lower.

So what is the solution? If we do away with a free provision then the poorer people may not be able to afford the hearing aids that they need. I don't believe this is an option. If we stay as we are then

a) The latest technology will be
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SOURCE Hearingaids.co.uk
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