The British and Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA) works closely with its European counterpart EHIMA, and has lent its support to their recent efforts to raise awareness of hearing loss with EU policy makers. EHIMA submitted a parliamentary question to the European Commission in July, which has now received an engaged response from ministers.
The question, which was signed by the Austrian MEP Heinz Becker, can be read in full here. It emphasises the huge socioeconomic impact of hearing loss, challenging the Commission to increase its support for sharing best practice in hearing care, to draw greater attention to the benefits of hearing devices, and to boost research into hearing loss.
The European Commission published its answer on 24 August, pointing to its efforts to promote the exchange of best practice and to previous research it has funded, as well as stating that its proposal for the new health budget will be open to research proposals about hearing loss, including into new treatments and innovations.
This is a positive exchange of information and our European hearing manufacturing partners are encouraged that a greater understanding of hearing loss is being fostered amongst European policy makers.
“BIHIMA stand fully behind our European partners, EHIMA, in their effort to draw much needed attention to hearing loss and we applaud this initiative to influence EU decision-making,” said Chairman, Paul Surridge.
Hearing loss is a huge problem in the EU, with 10% of the population self-reporting hearing loss, but only 39% of these people receiving professional hearing care and using hearing devices. BIHIMA and EHIMA are together committed to the work of improving the lives of people with hearing loss through promoting greater access to hearing technology which can be a transformative solution.
The full question to the European Commission can be read here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=WQ&reference=E-2018-003921&language=EN
The full answer can be read here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2018-003921&language=EN