Referrals for both children and adults for cochlear implants are accepted from ENT specialists, Audiologists, Advisers on Deaf Children and GPs.
No minimum/maximum age.
Adults must be medically cleared for surgery.
Must be a New Zealand citizen or have permanent residency to be eligible for public funding.
Prior to referral to the Cochlear Implant Programme, patients should have been fitted with appropriate hearing aids and found to receive little or no significant benefit.
Generally, cochlear implant candidates should have spoken language as a primary goal. Appropriate exceptions may be those with additional physical or cognitive limitations. Candidacy in these cases is best determined by the cochlear implant assessment team. If in doubt please refer your patient for an assessment.
REFERRAL CRITERIA FOR CHILDREN
Please refer children whom you consider might be borderline – we are always happy to discuss cases with you on the phone.
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 cochlear implant.
Children with additional needs will be accepted for assessment.
If you are in doubt about a possible referral please do refer them to the Northern Cochlear Implant Programme, or call us to discuss.
REFERRAL CRITERIA FOR ADULTS
The programme accepts referrals of adults over 19 years who:
Have bilateral moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss in the better hearing ear. Referrals for ski slope or reverse losses will also be considered.
60% or worse PImax for CVC words (unaided) in the better hearing ear.
Derive no significant benefit from well-fitted hearing aids (Struggle to communicate without lip reading and find it hard to use the phone).
Are New Zealand citizens or have permanent residence.
Referral can be made by an Audiologist, Audiometrist, ENT surgeon or GP. Clients can also self refer if required.
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.
FUNDING FOR CHILDREN
All children accepted as a candidate for cochlear implantation in both ears will receive full public funding.
If you have any questions or would like to refer your patient/client please contact
Clinical Services Coordinator (0-19 years)
P: 09 579 2333 or 0800 254 783
F: 09 579 2310
M: 021 811 493
Cochlear Implant Coordinator (19 years plus)
P: 09 579 2333
F: 09 579 2310