Government to bring Cochlear implant surgery under health scheme

The government is planning a survey to find people with hearing impairment in the State, Health Minister U.T. Khader has said.

Speaking at the International Ear care day here on Monday, the Minister said, “Each Cochlear implant surgery costs about Rs. 12 lakh. Even middle class people cannot afford it. The government will try to come up with a policy to assist as many patients as possible. Cochlear implant surgery can be brought under a government health scheme.”

He said a meeting would be conducted with the District Health Officers for the purpose. Mr. Khader said the department would also consider roping in corporate firms for funds.

He said that the Health Department would conduct ear camps on March 3 from next year. Mr. Khader distributed hearing aids to three patients with hearing impairment.

H.S. Satish, Professor and Head, ENT, Victoria Hospital, Bangalore, said there were two types of deafness – congenital and post natal. “Some of the causes for post natal deafness include childhood measles, mums, side effects of drugs and trauma. In some cases, a patient may be able to manage with a hearing aid. But in some other cases, Cochlear implant surgery is the only option,” Dr. Satish added.

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