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Deaf patients told to learn to lip read


Deaf patients told, “You can’t have a hearing aid. Learn to lip read instead”

People who live in Britain may not realise that a few of us ex-Pats living in Thailand have a fun game when we get a bit down. At the risk of sounding like Victor Meldrew, it’s called “I just don’t believe it”. It’s an easy game to play.

The full title is called, “Someone else in power in Britain has lost their marbles”. We buy the Daily Mail, and we laugh. You could not write the crazy stories even if you were a top script writer.

And so we have‘Patients who are denied Hearing aids as a result of NHS rationing have been told to learn to lip read!’ 

Health Authorities have already begun their strategy. Helpful hints published include

1. Don’t be embarrassed to tell people you are hard of hearing. I’ve been deaf since I was 28. Who’s embarrassed. I’m not stupid. I’m just deaf. If I couldn’t see very well, people would know because I’d be wearing glasses. Do people wearing glasses make spectacles of themselves?

2. Sit face to face with family and friends. This is a bit of a tricky one as I am the family chauffeur.

3. Be aware of background noise – We are constantly aware of background noise. It is usually the major environmental why most of us can’t hear!

4. Find a quieter area if you are in a bust environment. They are trying to make me a deaf loser. While everybody else is having fun in the restaurant, they want me to sit on the park bench one hundred yards down the road and eat my tuna sandwich.

You couldn’t make this stuff up! Stupidity is clearly linked to deafness. But not exclusively. I fear there will be helpful tips for patients denied NHS prescription reading glasses next month.

1. Hold the newspaper closer.

2. Buy a magnifying glass

3. Listen to the radio more

4. Only go out of doors when it is essential

This last tip on deafness shows that the person writing this has not got a clue. One of the worst places to hear is the ‘quiet room’, especially if it has high ceilings adorned by ceiling tiles where the polystyrene absorbs the sound. (Far more common than you would imagine). When you are in a noisy restaurant people look at you and talk more loudly.

But the biggest issue is that ‘normal’ people don’t understand deaf people. Because they have to repeat sentences, especially the first few words, they may just think we are stupid. But we don’t hear because many people look away from you when they are talking (about an object or a view etc). So how on earth is lip reading going to help?

I do lip read anyway. I know exactly what Wayne Rooney called the Linesman on Match of the Day.

The fact is that the NHS is running short of money for hearing aids because we have too many useless managers who write tosh like this with their expensive PR departments.

And we pay too much for drugs we don’t need.

This is the real wastage. Not the costs of Doctors and Nurses and hearing aids which inevitably face the curse of the red pen when budgets are prepared.