Treating the increasing cases of hearing or hearing impairment across the nation is crucial and would require the government to be proactive in recruiting more healthcare workers in the field, especially audiologists.
The effect of hearing loss can have a profound effect in a patient’s life. The Scoop once featured a Bruneian female youth who shared her struggles in coping with her studies and social life as a result of her hearing impairment.
I myself had a close brush with hearing loss due to an inflammation.
When I went to RIPAS a few years ago, I was shocked when I found out I had to wait three months before having to get an appointment at the ENT department. The pain was so excruciating it is as if someone was constantly stabbing my ear with a needle. The long waiting time forced me to get treated in a private clinic instead.
The long waiting time is not an isolated incident. One Netizen complained on social media about a similar issue as well, this time him facing an ear infection. Luckily, I advised him to go to a private clinic. However, he had to fork out money but luckily his hearing got better with antibiotics.
Nevertheless, this long waiting time should be reduced for the sake of public health.
Imagine if there are hundreds if not thousands of people who are facing a similar problem who had no knowledge nor money to fix their inflammation and infection, having to wait for months on end to meet their audiologists.
While waiting, patients may face unbearable pain in their ears potentially causing permanent hearing losses.
To reduce the waiting time, the government needs to hire more audiologists.
From my knowledge, we already have a pool of qualified audiologist in the country who remains unemployed or under-employed.
May I then suggest the government to track and hire these graduates and make full use of their skills to tackle this grave national issue.
I hope the government can address this public health and talent mismatch issue.