Stephanie Schneck isn’t giving up the fight for her daughter.
Not now, not ever.
Schneck and her nine year old daughter, Gracie Prang, were at the Legislature Thursday as Health Critic Vicki Mowat questioned the government about cuts to the Hearing Aid Plan.
Gracie, who has fluctuating hearing loss, had a pair of temporary hearing aids in the past. She now requires a set of bone conduction hearing aids. The only issue? They cost $6,400.
“You as a mom, knowing you can’t pull out your bank card and pay $6400 and your child is staring at you with her big, beautiful eyes like, ‘Oh my God, I got to hear for seven days, let’s keep going!’, but you can’t,” said Schneck.
Schneck noted they explored all avenues, but came up empty. She stated they even went to the Employment Supplement for help, but they were “over.”
“You’re penalizing me for making money and refusing to help my daughter.”
Health Minister says answers coming in weeks
Health Minister Jim Reiter noted the device in question is still very much new and has asked the national body examining technologies to take a look at it.
“Essentially, I’m going to ask her just be patient a little bit while we do look at and see what we can do,” he said. “We need to understand whether this is just a more expensive hearing aid or a device that’s going to prevent possibly surgeries.”
An answer should becoming in weeks, he noted.
Should the hearing aid be one that had an affect on surgical outcomes, it’d be treated “completely different.” If it’s a more expensive hearing aid, Reiter said it’d be looked at be included in the National Children’s Hearing Aid Program.
When asked if the province would commit to including it then in the Hearing Aid Plan, the Minister responded by saying “as of today, I don’t know why we wouldn’t include it.”