Health Committee Calls For Better Deaf Healthcare

Last update on Dec, 04, 2017

A new report has found an urgent need for better health services for deaf people.

The London Assembly Health Committee is calling for urgent action to eliminate the disadvantages that deaf people experience when trying to access healthcare.

Ill health is more common among deaf people, but this is mostly caused by difficulties in accessing health services. Basic interactions, from making an appointment to discussing problems with a doctor, are harder for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

Merfyn Williams, a deaf user of the health service, said: "Interaction with health services can be very stressful for deaf people since medical and administrative personnel are often unaware of the need for clear communication.

Merfyn Williams
Interaction with health services can be very stressful for deaf people

"Simple things like not being faced when spoken to or alerted when it's your time to see the doctor are really frustrating."

Andrew Boff AM, Deputy Chair of the Health Committee, said at the launch of the report: "It's shocking that deaf people are more likely to suffer ill health than the hearing population, just because it's more difficult for them to access the health service.

"This is entirely avoidable and needs to be addressed now. Deaf people have waited long enough for somebody to listen to them."

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