Announcement: QCoal partners with CheckUP to provide more ENT surgeries for children in regional Queensland

11 March 2019

CheckUP are delighted to announce a new partnership following the awarding of a Community Growth Grant by the QCoal Foundation. The grant will provide funding to improve access to surgery for children and young people in rural/remote Queensland for the treatment and management of ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions.

Many of these patients are on waitlists with clinically unacceptable timeframes, and experience other barriers to treatment. Many patients will be Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, who experience ear problems at alarming rates, and the CheckUP surgery initiatives provide a culturally appropriate and supportive environment for the children and their parents/carers.

CheckUP CEO, Ann Maree Liddy, said that while CheckUP’s Hear Better program is already funded by the federal government to provide these services, this partnership will extend our capacity, reach and impact. Children who need healthcare the most, will receive it and thanks to the QCoal Foundation grant, access will not be an issue for patients requiring treatment.

QCoal Foundation Chair Christopher Wallin said the Foundation was impressed with the work of CheckUP and the organisation’s focus on patients in rural and remote areas.

“QCoal Foundation is pleased to partner with CheckUP to support more patients to receive essential treatment and management of ear, nose and throat conditions.

“Through our experience with both the RFDS and Hear and Say, we know that there are many ways to address the lack of service delivery in rural centres so we look forward to tracking the outcomes of this approach,” Mr Wallin said.

Ear health related hearing loss can lead to many adverse outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly for children who often performing poorly at school and drop out early. Language development depends heavily on hearing and therefore, this same group of children often fall behind in this area too. Later in life, this can often lead to increased unemployment. Further, there is a strong link between early onset hearing impairment and increased entry into the justice system.

ENT surgery will directly address the root cause of these adverse social and educational outcomes. It is well established that children who otherwise have a high chance of performing poorly will gain improved cognitive ability, auditory processing skills, attention, behaviour, speech and language. The opportunity of success later in life becomes a real possibility. All children will have a follow-up appointment to ensure their surgery has been successful and that their hearing condition has improved.