Working together to stay safe
Thank you to all our healthcare workers and to everyone helping to fight Covid-19
We're here to help all Australian Audiologists and Audiometrists as our businesses struggle and we learn how to navigate our way through the pandemic.
The HBA Board would like to acknowledge all the work that Jane MacDonald devotes to this historic challenge, in addition to her advocacy on behalf of our Members.
In her role as Chief Executive Officer she continues, with all her experience and insight, to provide assistance, information and resources in our fight against Covid-19.
10 October 2020 is World Mental Health Day. We received a reminder to reach out, and some helpful information from Kate Carnell, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.
We are an inclusive organization.
Our Member businesses are owned by Audiologists, Audiometrists, and others providing hearing health care throughout our Australian communities.
We hope you will join us.
Join us and contribute to the HSP Review, and the Proposed July 2021 Changes.
What concerns you about HSP? How does it affect your business?
Jane MacDonald: "I have received a lot of contact from Members, following the announcement of the planned 2021 changes to the HSP. As HBA CEO, I continue to represent your businesses in discussions about the things that will impact your business and its long term financial viability."
Share your views and stay abreast of all the pending changes to our industry.
Thank you to Members for your considerable input to HBA’s Schedule of Services Submission.
We now have a say in legislative policies affecting our businesses.
Members who were threatened with a million dollar lawsuit, their expensive battle to defend their reputation and small practice, their success in finally getting legislators to listen - and our subsequent advocacy - brought major changes to our industry.
Did you know that
"Small businesses with less than 20 employees comprise 97% of all Australian businesses
employ more than 40% of the workforce and
account for over one-third of the nation's GDP ..." of approximately $1.69 trillion?
(Source, October 2019: Ms Kate Carnell, AO, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman)
Of around 300 hearing care businesses in Australia, 7 large chains and the former Australian Hearing control 85% of the market.
Approximately 290 small, independent companies share 15% of the market.
Since we formed HBA in September 2016, we have represented our Members in negotiations with, among others, Federal and State governments, a Parliamentary Inquiry, a Hearing Health Sector Committee, ACCC, AGCNCO, ASBFEO, HAS, NDIA and various hearing industry organisations and stakeholders.
Representing your business
HBA is a founding member of the Hearing Health Sector Alliance (HHSA)
October 2020: As an Executive member of the HHSA, HBA continues to represent issues impacting our Members.
Last week we met with the Minister, The Hon. Mark Coulton, Prof. Mike Woods and Dr Zena Burgess from the HSP Review Panel, Chris Carlile and other key Department of Health personnel. At these meetings HBA continues to raise awareness of issues faced by small hearing businesses that provide services to deaf and hard of hearing consumers.
HBA was also a member of the Roadmap for Hearing Health Committee, which identified over 140 actions recommended to improve hearing health in Australia. The HHSA has worked collaboratively to highlight five key priorities under the COAG-endorsed Roadmap for Hearing Health.
We are proud that an outcome of this collective approach is that in last week's federal budget, Government allocated $21.2M towards initiatives we highlighted as Roadmap priorities. That this happened in such a tight fiscal period is commendable.
The HHSA is comprised of four constituencies: consumers, professionals, research, and industry.
Industry representatives are HBA, the Hearing Care Industry Association (HCIA) for large national/multi-national and vertically-integrated businesses, and the Hearing Aid Manufacturers and Distributors Association of Australia (HAMADAA) for device manufacturers.
This means that every time a business issue is raised, HBA is there representing our smaller independent businesses - the businesses that are HBA Members.
Raising Members' Concerns with Government
Photos. In March, before we were all confined by the restrictions of Covid-19, Jane was busy representing HBA in Canberra - advocating for equal opportunity and a level playing field for hearing health small business providers. Among those she met with were:
The Hon. Mark Coulton, MP, Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, whose portfolio includes the Hearing Services Program.
The Hon. Paul Fletcher, MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts.
The Hon. Trent Zimmerman, MP, Chair, Parliamentary Inquiry into Hearing Health.
The Hon. Dr Mike Freelander, MP, Co-Chair of Parliamentary Friends of Hearing Health and Deafness, and Deputy Chair of Parliamentary Inquiry into Hearing Health.
Senator The Hon. Hollie Hughes, Chair of Select Committee on Autism.
The Hon. Chris Bowen, MP, Shadow Minister for Health.
The Hon. Bill Shorten, MP, Shadow Minister for NDIS and Government Services.
The Hon. Linda Burney, MP, Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services and for Preventing Family Violence.
The Hon. Steven Georganas, MP, Committee member of Parliamentary Inquiry into Hearing Health.
The Hon. Zali Steggall OAM, MP
The Hon. Dr. Fiona Martin, MP, Co-Chair of Parliamentary Friends of Hearing Health and Deafness.
Mr Chris Carlile, Assistant Secretary, Department of Health, Hearing Services Program.
Ms Sarah Hawke, Branch Manager of the Participant Outcomes Branch, Department of Social Services.
In October 2019, we met with The Hon. Mark Coulton, MP, The Hon. Trent Zimmerman, MP, and representatives from the Departments of Human Services, Social Services, and Health, the Hearing Services Program, and discussed:
Action priorities under the Roadmap for Hearing Health
Recommendations under the Still waiting to be heard ... report
Transition of hearing services under the NDIS
Paediatric audiology services under the NDIS
Therapeutic Goods Administration classification of hearing devices
Changes under the Hearing Services Program
Growing the Hearing Health Sector Alliance
A government delegation flew to Mildura to meet our Chairman Don MacDonald and Executive Officer Jane MacDonald.
We discussed our challenges delivering hearing services in remote rural areas, and those of small business owners who provide hearing services under the HSP and the NDIS, and other paediatric, adult diagnostic and rehabilitative work.
Thank you to Mr Chris Carlile (Assistant Secretary, Hearing Services Program), Ms Skye Rogers (Director, HSP Hearing Policy) and Ms Raelene Johnston (Dept. of Human Services).
We continue to promote your views, and liaise constructively with government as it implements more than 140 recommendations in the Roadmap for Hearing Health.
Our mission is simply expressed
We support and represent our Member Audiologists, Audiometrists and Business Owners
to consumers, government, non-government agencies and all hearing care organisations
Added to the impact of the Corona Virus, our profession continues to undergo major changes which impact our Audiology and Audiometry businesses - our clients' choices, the quality and costs of hearing care we provide, the legislation, the marketplace, the business ethics.
Some archives of the state of our industry:
Submissions to the Inquiry into the Health and Wellbeing of Australia - HBA Submission Number 61.
One in six Australians suffers hearing loss, costing us $33 billion a year.
Department of Health/PwC - "Review of Services and Technology Supply in the Hearing Services Program",
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC): "Issues around the sale of hearing aids"