Kiwi woman given CI after Health Minister steps in with cash injection, 24.8.17

Thu, 24 Aug 2017



Kiwi woman given life-changing chance to save her hearing, after Health Minister steps in with last minute cash injection


Andrea Vance 

1 NEWS Political Reporter

Surf lifesaver Danielle MacKay now has a chance to save her hearing - after health minister Jonathan Coleman stepped in with a last minute cash injection.Play Video01:12'No one should have to wait till they go deaf' - 22-year-old's plea to fast-track her cochlear implantDanielle Mackey has been on the waiting list for an implant since 2015.
Source: 1 NEWS1 NEWS has been following the 22-year-old's battle to get a cochlear implant since March. She was in danger of completely losing her hearing.AdvertisementLast week health authorities rejected her plea - and told her she wasn't a priority.Now Mr Coleman says an extra $6.5 million will be invested into the adult cochlear implants programme.That means the number of operations will increase from 40 to 100 a year - and clearing some of the back log means Ms MacKay will be eligible.

"The investment will also increase the capacity within the system and cover the additional audiology and rehabilitation time required to support such a massive uplift," Mr Coleman said."I have also asked officials for advice around how we can better structure the funding model for this important service going forward."

Last week Ms MacKay delivered a petition signed by more than 26,000 people, asking for help. Her campaign was back by advocacy group Yes We Can.There are currently around 224 adults on the waiting list for a funded cochlear implant.A cochlear implant costs about $45,000 for surgery, implant and switch-on.The processors need to be replaced about every six to seven years, which costs about $10,000 each time.