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July 2, 2004

SA to fund extra hearing implants

From: Ninemsn, Australia - Jul 2, 2004

The South Australian government is to fund extra Cochlear implants for hearing impaired adults.

Health Minister Lea Stevens said the number of publicly-funded implants each year would increase from two to five.

A Cochlear implant is a small electronic device that provides a sense of sound to those who have severe to profound hearing loss and who cannot hear or understand speech with hearing aids.

Each implant costs more than $30,000.

Ms Stevens said there were currently about 30 people on the public waiting list.

"Demand has increased, largely because the eligibility criteria have been changed to allow people with lower levels of hearing loss to qualify," the minister said.

©AAP 2004