The closure of Saskatchewan’s Hearing Aid Plan (SHAP) earlier this year saw mixed responses. Many people expressed discontent with the elimination of the province’s health plan, which had previously covered audiological evaluations and also subsidized hearing aids for low-income people. Though, Jacquie Mvula, an audiologist at Sun Country Hearing, says that it is not as bad as it seems. In some cases, you may even benefit from the termination of the SHAP program.
“Some people were very upset when the SHAP program closed because they thought nobody could get help with their hearing aids,” Mvula said. “However that’s not true.”
What many people may not know is that the Saskatchewan government partnered with many private clinics, including Sun Country Hearing, so that those who were eligible for subsidized healthcare would receive it. “The government still will pay for their hearing aids, if they have that subsidized healthcare status,” she said, “they are still fully covered, they will just be serviced through us.”
Mvula, who has owned Sun Country Hearing for three years now, says that residents in her hometown community of Estevan have actually benefitted from the closures. For those living in Estevan who wanted to take advantage of the SHAP program benefits, it was not as simple as driving into town for your audiologist appointment. There wasn't a SHAP clinic in Estevan.
“We have some mentally and physically challenged people here in Estevan who were always forced to go all the way to Regina” – which, by the way, is two hours each way – “and spend all that time going back and forth with their caseworker just for an appointment to get their hearing aid adjusted,” Mvula explained. “Now, they can come here, and if they have subsidized health coverage, they can still be serviced in their hometown.”
To find out more about Sun Country Hearing, visit www.suncountryhearing.com or call 306-636-3277. You can also find Sun Country Hearing on Facebook.