Dear CASLPA members,
Last Friday, we sent you an email
to make you aware of a CBC Marketplace episode that was going to look at the high costs of hearing aids. At that point, we weren't sure how the story would unfold; though given what we had heard from individuals interviewed for the story, we did not suspect a balanced approach to the issue. Unfortunately, our suspicions were verified when the episode aired on Friday evening.
We, here at CASLPA, are incredibly disappointed with the way that this story was handled and we are in contact with CBC Marketplace and the CBC ombudsman on this matter. In our opinion, this story does not comply with CBC's journalistic standards.
We also want to share with you that the misinformation in this episode was not limited to your profession; CASLPA was also misrepresented. At the end of the segment, the narrator claims that they tried to contact a national audiology association but were passed off to multiple other sources - none of whom would agree to appear on camera.
The truth is that Marketplace did contact us and we spent a great deal of time on the phone with their researcher on two separate occasions leading up to the episode. We did our very best to answer all of his questions and to impress upon him the value and necessity for the services that audiologists provide to individuals who are in need of a hearing aid. Our responses were met with rudeness and scepticism; when told that we do not have information on the average cost to develop a hearing aid, he accused us of hiding the truth; when told that we cannot comment on how an individual audiology clinic invoices its clients, he asked if we couldn't comment or didn't want to.
Eventually, when it became clear that the researcher was not interested in the answers we had to give, we provided him with a few suggestions for where he might find the information he was looking for; including contacting a manufacturer about the cost of producing a hearing aid and calling a private audiology clinic for answers about how invoices are formatted. And - contrary to what is claimed in the episode - we were never asked to provide an official statement or to appear on camera.
We at CASLPA are very concerned about how the unbalanced nature of this piece could negatively affect your relationships with your clients, the public's view of your profession and, ultimately, the hearing health of Canadians. Which is why, in addition to the complaints we are lodging with CBC, we are also planning public outreach initiatives to help people see a broader perspective on this issue and to understand that audiologists are health-care professionals who care deeply about the hearing health of Canadians; not salespeople aiming to get rich off the sale of hearing aids.
Help us get the facts straight.
To help us reach out to the public in an effective and compelling way, we need your help. The link below will take you to a short survey on hearing-aids and their associated services and fees. If you are an audiologist who dispenses hearing aids, please take five to ten minutes to complete this survey. The information you provide will be completely anonymous and only used in aggregate as part of a cross-country average.
If you dispense hearing aids, please CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE THE ONLINE SURVEY.
We would appreciate it if you could complete the survey by Wednesday, February 20th.
The information that you provide will be incredibly valuable in helping us tell your story to the Canadian public.
Thank you for your participation,
Krystle van Hoof
Director of Communications and Public Affairs