The Hearing House A First Voice Centre

Referrals for cochlear implants are accepted from ENT specialists, audiologists, and advisers on deaf children.

Please refer children whom you consider might be borderline – we are always happy to discuss cases with you on the phone.

Referral Criteria

  • Children who have recently suffered from meningitis which has caused a sensorineural hearing loss should be referred urgently following diagnosis.
  • Children who have a bilateral severe hearing loss or worse, from 1 kHz to 8 kHz on ABR testing, or on an unaided test.
  • Children with limited aided speech information above 2 kHz (as seen on speech-mapping). Children with a severe reverse sloping hearing loss or worse, or those whose speech and language is not progressing adequately.
  • Children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder who are not progressing in their speech and language development.
  • Children older than three who are referred should have documented evidence of developing oral language.
  • Children over the age of four with no oral language will be considered and discussed only on a case-by-case basis.
  • A child older than five with no language is unlikely to benefit from a CI.
  • Children with additional needs will be accepted for assessment.

Assessment process

When you refer a patient the referral will be acknowledged and you will be updated as the assessment progresses. When the assessment has been completed, both you and your patient will be notified as to whether he/she is a cochlear implant candidate.

The Ministry of Health provides separate funding for cochlear implants for children and adults each year. Once children are determined to be cochlear implant candidates, surgery is generally scheduled within 1-2 months. If candidacy is approved, adults are prioritised according to their clinical need and placed on a waiting list.

For The Southern Cochlear Implant Programme (South of Taupo)  Programme Administrator on 0800 500 405 or