Tuesday, 7 October 2014
Department of Health
Audiology Services Provision
361. To ask the Minister for Health the regulations governing the prescribing and fitting of hearing aids; if a person is required to be a audiologist and registered with the Irish Society of Hearing Aid Audiology; in the absence of such qualification the way they are authorised to fit such important devices; and the recourse that persons have who are not satisfied with the service provided [38048/14]
The HSE's hearing services for adult medical card holders and children employs audiologists who have received professional training and certification in Audiology. The professional body for Clinical Audiologists is the Irish Academy of Audiology (IAA). Within the HSE services, governance structures have been introduced along with formal audit processes to provide quality assurance of hearing services. Complaints or concerns arising from clients within the HSE service are managed by the relevant Assistant Clinical Lead and managerial structure in the first instance.
Services for adults who do not hold medical cards are provided through the private sector. The Irish Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists (ISHAA) is the professional body for Hearing Aid Audiologists within this sector. Registration with this body now requires a minimum qualification of a Foundation Degree in Audiology. As the regulation of audiologists may be considered at a future date, ISHAA has been advised to adopt the key elements of the registration model of the Health and Social Care Professional Council (CORU) in developing a voluntary registration system. It is advisable that clients who require access to private sector adult hearing aid services should ensure that the dispenser is registered with ISHAA.