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Evidence to Improve Care

Bilateral Cochlear Implantation

Final Recommendation

  • Health Quality Ontario, under the guidance of the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, recommends publicly funding bilateral cochlear implantation for adults and children with bilateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss

Read the Final Recommendation Report

Sensorineural hearing loss is a condition in which a person’s cochlea (the hearing organ in the ear) or the nerve pathways for hearing are damaged. Depending on the amount of damage that cannot be repaired, hearing loss can range from mild to profound.

A cochlear implant is an electronic device that acts in place of the inner ear to help communicate sound to the brain and improve the hearing of people with sensorineural hearing loss.

Health Quality Ontario looked at the potential benefits and harms of people having cochlear implants in both ears (bilateral cochlear implantation) as opposed to just one, whether this is good value for money, and the budget impact of publicly funding bilateral cochlear implantation. We also talked with people with sensorineural hearing loss about their values, preferences, and experiences with cochlear implants.

Read the full Health Technology Assessment report for more information.

Bilateral Cochlear Implantation: A Health Technology Assessment (PDF)
October 2018

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The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is currently reviewing this recommendation.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: The Ministry has a standardized process in place to review Health Quality Ontario recommendations. This takes into consideration Ministry priorities, implementation options, the need for consultation with impacted stakeholders, and funding considerations.

Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


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