News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

June 9, 2022


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Strengthening Our Health-Care System a Key Priority: Gordon, Johnston

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The Manitoba government is investing $352,000 annually to expand health coverage for cochlear implant external sound processor replacements to include adults, Health Minister Audrey Gordon and Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Scott Johnston announced today.

“Our government is strengthening health care by ensuring equitable access to programs and services for all Manitobans, regardless of income,” said Gordon. “We are investing in patients by following research that shows the sooner a cochlear implant candidate receives the device, the better the outcome and building an expanded coverage of this program to adults to ensure more Manitobans have access to this life-changing technology.”

The adult program will be identical to the pediatric program, which covers 80 per cent of the cost of an external sound processor replacement every five years with a 20 per cent co-pay, the minister noted. The expanded program is anticipated to benefit as many as 40 people each year, many of whom are over the age of 55.

“An important aspect of healthy aging is social connectedness and age-related hearing loss can have an isolating effect for seniors,” said Johnston. “Expanding the cochlear implant program will help to ensure older adults who may be facing financial barriers have equitable access to this important device, which will enable them to continue to participate fully in life with their families and communities.”

“Everyone on our team is overjoyed for Manitoba’s cochlear implant community,” said Dr. Jodi Jones, provincial otolaryngology lead, Shared Health. “This new funding for expanded coverage represents one of the most generous programs for cochlear implant recipients in Canada and will have a tremendously positive impact for our patients and their families. Now all our recipients will be supported in their hearing and communication needs for their entire life.”

A cochlear implant consists of initial surgical implants and external processors. The province already covers the initial surgery, but the external processors require periodic replacement, which can be expensive without additional coverage, noted the ministers.

“I am very grateful and relieved that adults in Manitoba who require cochlear implant processors replacement are being recognized and financially supported,” said Gladys Nielsen, past president, Manitoba chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. “For me, this is again life-changing. I can now look forward to continuing to thrive, engage and actively participate in all aspects of daily living.”

Cochlear implants ensure people with profound hearing loss have access to sound. A processor behind the ear captures complex acoustic information and converts it to electric signals, which are transmitted to a series of electrodes implanted within the inner ear. This in turn delivers this information to the brain, where it is interpreted as meaningful sounds, such as speech.

For more information on the adult cochlear implant program, visit

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