'It does make me angry, very frustrated' - 22-year-old's call to PM to save her hearing with cochlear implant


Danielle Mackay, the 22-year-old surf life-saver who has been waiting three years for a cochlear implant, has taken the fight to save her hearing to Parliament.

Danielle Mackey has been on the waiting list for an implant since 2015.
Source: 1 NEWS

If she doesn't get it soon, she will completely lose her hearing.

More than 26,000 people signed a petition calling on Prime Minister Bill English to provide the publicly funded device.

Ms MacKay says she hopes the Prime Minister can find the money to clear the waiting list backlog.

She thought she'd have her implant by now after being told the waiting time was two years.

But she found out recently from health officials that she'd been removed from the surgical list and put on a review list.

"It does make me angry, very frustrated…I just wish they’d stick to their word," she said.

Green MP Mojo Mathers met Ms MacKay on the steps of Parliament – and says she's been "messed around" by the health system.

"I am appalled that she has had to go to these measures to try and ask the Government to look at her case," Ms Mathers said.

Ms Mathers said the system is "confusing" and questioned associate health minister Nicky Wagner about Ms MacKay's case - and was informed there is only one waiting list.

Ms Mathers says that's wrong, as Ms MacKay’s case proves:

"You can be assessed as needing a cochlear implant but you may not be on the surgical waiting list, that’s very confusing…there is a need for much greater transparency."

The Ministry of Health says there are more than 200 adults on the waiting list for implants, with a cost of up to $90,000 to go private.

Minister for Disabilities Nicky Wagner said the waiting list is prioritised, with the average wait time of 13 months.

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