The government announced changes to The Hearing Aid Sales and Services Regulations to ensure the quality and safety of hearing aid services delivered to Saskatchewan residents.
“This is another example of our government putting patients first,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said. “These regulation enhancements will better protect and meet the needs of hearing aid customers, including seniors who are hearing impaired.”
Amendments include changing the minimum educational standard for hearing instrument practitioners. Practitioners are now required to obtain an approved two-year diploma course in hearing instrument sciences. This requirement is consistent with most other Canadian provinces.
Practitioners affected by the new education standards have a transition period to demonstrate they possess the required skills through either a competency review or the completion of an approved two-year diploma program. The Ministry of Health will offer the initial competency review. Practitioners who have registered in an approved two-year diploma program within the first two years of the regulations coming into force may have up to four years to complete the program.
Customers will also benefit from the following changes: A follow-up, in-person appointment must be provided to customers no later than ten days before the end of the device’s trial period;
Increasing the length of the trial period from 30 to 60 days;
Amending the maximum amount (up to 10 per cent) a hearing aid dealer can retain from customers if the hearing aid and accessories are returned for credit; and
Addressing items in the sales contract and statement of cancellation, so customers have accurate information in order to make an informed decision regarding the purchase. For example, clarifying that warranties are provided only by manufacturers.
These changes are result of stakeholder consultations conducted in 2010 and 2012.
For more information about enhanced hearing aid services, please contact the Community Care Branch at the Ministry of Health at 306-787-1715.