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Parliamentary questions
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19 July 2016
Question for written answer E-005956-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Helga Stevens (ECR)

 Subject:  Hearing aid professionals
 Answer in writing 

Around 10% of EU citizens self-report to have some degree of hearing loss. Strongly related to ageing, hearing loss is a major public health issue. It is associated with comorbidities and can negatively impact the overall quality of life of people affected.

Around half of people with hearing loss are recommended to use hearing aids, i.e. Class IIa medical devices. Such devices have to be selected and adapted to patients' specific needs, in order to avoid risks associated with improper usage. This can only be done by qualified professionals who have the necessary skills and equipment to ensure the optimal performance of the device, as described in the British Standards (BS) EN 15927.

1. Does the Commission consider that the use of an invasive medical device like a hearing aid can occur without the intervention of a hearing aid professional whose qualifications have been recognised?2. Given that the regulation of professions is a national competence, what can the Commission do to incentivise Member States which do not regulate the profession of hearing aid professionals to do so?3. Would the Commission consider the introduction of minimum qualification standards for hearing aid professionals across the EU?

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