CBC Marketplace And The Hearing Aid Industry
Recently, CBC Marketplace attempted to explain what goes on in the hearing aid industry, and explain why hearing aids are so expensive. In short, not only did they not explain why hearing aids are expensive to purchase, they made it seem as though there was a big secret that the hearing aid industry was trying to keep from people. In my opinion, this was poor reporting, and rather disrespectful to every professional working in the hearing aid industry. I doubt it taught anyone anything.
Seeing as they briefly showcased my clinic name, I figured I would at least respond in my own way.
I believe that CBC Marketplace was asking all the wrong questions.
CBC Marketplace showcased a lady who purchased a $3000 dollar hearing aid which did not work well for her. Based on the last 10 years of my experience in this industry, dispensing all the major brands of hearing aids, I have never once seen a hearing aid that looked like that one in Canada. This means to me that she might have purchased this hearing aid somewhere other than in Canada, and therefore may not have been able to go back to the dispensing clinic for service. Also, if this indeed was a hearing aid that was not available in Canada, it was hardly possible to visit a Canadian clinic to get service.
Furthermore, CBC Marketplace showcased a person who apparently builds and/or repairs hearing aids, who stated the sum of the parts in a hearing aid total $60 dollars. This is nonsense. A hearing aid, or any piece of electronics are worth more than the sum of their parts. To bring any single product to market requires very large sums of money for things like: Research and development, field trials, software coding, marketing, and numerous other things that are involved; not to mention that a hearing aid is a medical device and requires far more attention to detail than a DVD player.
Perhaps if they approached a hearing aid manufacturer and asked a question like, “What does it take to create a new hearing aid?” they might have actually gotten a reasonable answer. Perhaps if they asked a hearing aid practitioner, “What steps are involved when a person has been diagnosed with a hearing loss?”
Perhaps then they might have a small but significant start to understand the hearing aid industry, which then, they can intelligently pass on to their viewers.