Graphic: Hear, hear! RFDS is delivering hearing assessment services to rural parts of Queensland
Residents of rural and remote Queensland will be delighted to hear the news that the RFDS (Queensland Section) will soon be offering a free hearing screening service.
With estimates stating that one in four Australians are expected to suffer from some form of hearing loss by 2050*, the need for better access to hearing services has never been greater.
The RFDS will address this need by commencing a 12 month hearing assessment pilot program in early August, 2017.
The program will be a joint service between the RFDS and Australian Hearing.
The Service will run alongside the RFDS Dental Service, a mobile unit that tours regional Queensland delivering vital oral health services to people living in these parts of the state.
The hearing assessment program is being jointly funded by the RFDS national body and Australian Hearing - Australia's leading hearing service provider.
RFDS Queensland Acting State Services Manager, Allira Power said she was excited to be bringing on board a dedicated Community Health Worker to visit schools, community groups, local hospitals and council offices, in those regional and remote towns that our dental team is already committed to visiting.
"Both ourselves and Australian Hearing are keen to assess and measure the extent of hearing loss in these communities and to see if a lack of access to such services is a contributing factor," Ms Power said. "It's an unfortunate truth that harmful noise is all around us, and more so now than ever. As a result, this is directly impacting our ability to hear. This is the case for people living in Australian cities, as well as, we suspect, those people living in the bush.
"Through this new program, we will be able to offer an initial hearing assessment and if required, refer people on to hearing specialist care."
Expressions of interest are now open for the newly created Community Health Worker role to carry out this exciting new initiative. The role is expected to begin in July to allow for a comprehensive induction.
The role will also involve the provision of a diagnostic service, of which the data collected will have far reaching research potential. You can find more details about the Community Health Worker role and how to apply here.