The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board has taken steps to limit workers options in treating their hearing loss.
In July, 2016 AHIP (the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners) issued a letter to WSIB expressing grave concerns regarding their recent decision to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) regarding Hearing Aids, Accessories and Hearing Assistive Technologies. Their arguments against the RFP were in relation to the Ontario prescription legislation and other roles and responsibilities of hearing healthcare professionals. AHIP called on WSIB to withdraw the RFP and to consider other approaches which could include negotiating with the manufacturing industry, as has been done in the past.
Recently AHIP was advised by WSIB that they proceeded with their Request for Proposal project, have completed this process and have in fact selected Bernafon, Phonak and Sivantos as suppliers. This change is to take effect on January 7, 2017.
This make no sense to us, as Hearing Instrument Specialists. WSIB recipients should be enraged that they have been restricted for no justifiable reason.
Here at Findlay Creek Hearing we are not directly affected as we deal with all manufacturers. However, we now have fewer options to help you hear to the best of your ability.
UPDATE: January 20, 2017
WSIB’s decision has been met with fierce opposition from the audiological, specialist and worker representatives. A campaign of protest was started prior to implementation with the goal of involving Ministry representatives.
To date, WSIB has not reviewed its policy and the fight continues.