The Hearing Services Program aims to stop barriers to access hearing programs for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD) in Australia.

ECCNSW collaborated with Soundfair and The University of Queensland who are conducting some research funded by the Department of Health and the University of Queensland.

To help in the research, ECCNSW conducted focus groups in Arabic and Mandarin to find out more about the experiences of CALD persons in relation to hearing services in Australia, including the Hearing Services Program.

ECCNSW provided feedback and recommendations to improve hearing healthcare access for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD).

Some of the feedback/recommendations were:

  • Many CALD people come from countries where they could access healthcare specialists straight away without having to go through a referral process through a GP. Because of this, they often wait until a health issue becomes a considerable problem before seeking help, not knowing they will not be able to access services straight away and that they are likely to be placed on a waiting list to see a specialist.
  • Stakeholders highlighted the idea of establishing medical precincts with the co-location of allied health services, where people could access both primary and tertiary healthcare services and health professionals could engage in interdisciplinary communication and education. They also suggested streamlining referrals so that healthcare professionals other than GPs could direct people to the appropriate service and have direct communication with other specialists, preventing miscommunication.