Hampstead Adopts Resolution on Cochlear Implant Surgery in Montreal

The Town of Hampstead adopted Resolution 2018-144 concerning Cochlear Implant Surgery in Montreal at its Town Council Meeting held Monday, May 7, 2018.

Mayor Bill Steinberg, who is a cochlear implant recipient, said, "People with a severe or worse hearing handicap are typically quiet, shy and do not interact much with others because they can't hear. As Helen Keller said, "Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people." I know because I had little hearing my entire life until I got a cochlear implant in 2004 at the age of 56. It changed my life and that is why I, along with a group of dedicated doctors, am fighting to get cochlear implant surgery done here in Montreal. "

Here below is the extract from the Minutes of the Regular Council Meeting:



WHEREAS Cochlear Implant surgery in Quebec is only done in Quebec City;

WHEREAS approximately 70% of the people needing this surgery live closer to Montreal than to Quebec City;

WHEREAS it is a policy of the Quebec government to have medical services provided close to where the people needing the services live;

WHEREAS it is a hardship both financially and emotionally for deaf and profoundly deaf people to have to travel to Quebec City for the assessment, surgery and programming of the speech processor – all of which require three or four separate trips and a total of about 15 days away from home;

WHEREAS some of these people are unable to travel to Quebec City due to financial reasons, family obligations and/or job requirements;

WHEREAS the surgeons, audiologists, and other professionals to establish a Cochlear Implant program in Montreal are already in Montreal and fully trained;

WHEREAS virtually all medical schools in North America and Europe offer training in cochlear implant surgery  and, in fact, medical schools are supposed to offer the training to be accredited;

WHEREAS transferring 70% of the budget from the Quebec City program to a new Montreal program will save the government money since there is presently a duplication of assessment and counselling services;

WHEREAS a Montreal program can be set up and running within a few months of the budgetary allotment being transferred;

WHEREAS wait lists will be shorter if surgeons in both Montreal and Quebec City do the surgery;

WHEREAS people who are deaf or profoundly deaf are usually unemployed or under employed and, after the surgery, can be expected to earn more and pay more taxes;

WHEREAS a group of top surgeons and others have been asking for the surgery to be done in Montreal for over 14 years;

WHEREAS the Quebec Heath Minister has been fully aware of this file for at least eight months;

WHEREAS the Town of Hampstead has residents who need or may need this surgery;

On motion of Mayor William Steinberg, seconded by Councillor Harvey Shaffer, it is UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED;

THAT the Town of Hampstead requests that the government of Quebec transfer 70% of the total budget for a cochlear implant program to Montreal immediately with the remaining 30% being left for the Quebec City program;

THAT a copy of this resolution be sent to all Mayors on the island of Montreal, the MNA for Darcy McGee, the Premier of Quebec, the Quebec Health Minister and the leaders of all the parties represented in the National Assembly.

(s) William Steinberg                                  (s) Pierre Tapp         
Dr. William Steinberg, Mayor                     Me Pierre Tapp, Town Clerk