Local Healthcare Workers Demand Election Candidates Stand Up Against WSIB Cuts to Hearing Devices

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Imagine losing your hearing through a workplace accident and not receiving adequate coverage for a proper hearing aid. Sounds unfair, right?

Last week, local healthcare practitioners called on local provincial election candidates to stand up for the rights of workers suffering from hearing loss related to workplace injuries.  Along with partners from across the province, they have launched the #HelpOntarioHear campaign. This campaign encourages Ontarians from every walk of life to contact local candidates in the provincial election regarding a recent Workplace Safety & Insurance Board decision to restrict hearing aid options for injured workers.

“These WSIB cuts have hit over 200 patients in my practice, said Sault Ste. Marie audiologist Patricia Lynn VanHoof.  The decision on which device is appropriate should rest with patients and healthcare providers, not government bureaucrats”,

As part of its mandate, the WSIB covers the cost of hearing aids for workers that have damaged their hearing on the job. Yet, WSIB is now cutting their coverage to devices made by just three manufacturers, massively reducing the number of devices available to injured workers. Hearing aid devices work differently for each person based on their individual hearing loss. The Hear Ontario coalition – a group of hearing aid manufacturers and hearing healthcare professionals working to maximize the choices and quality of hearing aids provided by the WSIB – believes that the selection of hearing devices should be made by a hearing healthcare professional and their patient – not made by a government looking to save a few bucks.

Worse, the top-quality hearing aids that WSIB has been supplying workers for years have been excluded from the list as well. Injured workers are no longer able to replace their hearing aids with the devices that work best for them.

The coalition believes that this action is totally unacceptable. They’re calling on local candidates to commit to working with the WSIB to reverse their decision, and encourages all Ontarians to reach out to their provincial election candidates through the campaign website, www.hearontario.ca, to voice their concerns.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Slightly off topic… Beware, many of the medications directed by WSIB sponsored doctors and clinics are NSAIDS> These can directly cause hearing damage, and the result will be more people needing hearing aids. There are many studies, and the drug makers themselves state this as a fact on product monographs. Sadly, I am on with such damage. Now, to prove it. Way to go WSIB.

  2. It would seem to make sense to contact “local candidates to commit to working with the WSIB to reverse their decision and encourage(s) all Ontarians to reach out to their provincial election candidates through the campaign.” The truth in Canada is that the people elected in various cities have to follow what their political party’s leader says.

    Mr. Ford has repeatedly stated that he intends to cut more than $6 billion from public services without being clear from which services this money is going to be cut.

    In ridings in Ottawa, London, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Oshawa, Muskoka and Windsor, Conservative candidates have refused to attend all candidates’ debates on Health Care organized by the health coalition, nurses, health professionals and community groups.

    Ontarians deserve to know the entire Conservative plan.

    I am interested in seeing the ENTIRE PC platform! Where can I find it?

    I have left a message on the Conservative Party number to have someone outline the Conservative Platform for me or preferably direct me to a written copy that I could pick up or find on line. The Conservative Website lists 3 points -cut hydro (how? when?), reduce taxes (income tax? sales tax? from whom? from what?) and cut gas prices by 10 cents (from what starting point?).

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