1,000 hearing aids to be distributed in 2023 – Minister Anthony

To improve the lifestyle of persons with hearing impairment, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will be procuring and distributing some 1,000 hearing aids in 2023.

This was disclosed recently by Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony during the programme ‘The Guyana Dialogue’. 

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony

This year we are planning to do a thousand hearing aids. Just last month, we gave 250 hearing aids to patients who need them and I think we’ll see this programme grow as more and more people learn about the programme,” he said. 

Minister Anthony revealed that in 2022, 500 persons from all regions benefitted from hearing aids. A sum of $15 million was allocated in Budget 2022 to procure the much-needed aids.

“Before, if you’re diagnosed with a hearing problem you had to pay $65,000 to get a hearing aid. We have made this free. So, once you’re diagnosed with a hearing problem, we’ll give you a hearing aid, free of cost,the health minister explained.

The programme aims to ensure that everyone with hearing loss is able to receive the gift of hearing, and while the elderly population is targeted for benefits, the programme is also prioritising young children.

Several programmes have been rolled out by the ministry to assist citizens, among them the ‘Snap On’ spectacle initiative that will see persons in the hinterland receiving spectacles – free of cost.

Citizens are also benefitting from free cataract procedures. In addition, hemodialysis patients are benefitting from an annual $600,000 grant that will subsidise the cost of dialysis locally. Some 330 patients received the grant in 2022 and to date, over 100 persons have benefitted in 2023.

“So, there are lots of good things that are happening and it’s happening across the country,” the minister assured.

A sum of $84.9 billion was injected into the healthcare sector for 2023.