Wait periods in Australia for CI

Hi all! I’ve been told I should get a CI and had the assessment today in the ACT confirming it. I’ve signed up for private health and have a 12m waiting period, so it’s a race against the public system who apparently has a 12m waiting period too.

Is it posssible to find out the actual waiting periods in Australia and anyone know which states have the lowest. I’m really struggling at work with my current hearing and would love ways to get the CI quickly.

12 month waiting periods for pre-existing conditions is pretty much standard for private health cover.

When one gets implanted via the public health system comes down to a whole list of priorities, as I understand it. Could be a long wait in that instance, especially if there’s a backlog of patients. Personal circumstances may expedite this for you? So might be worth finding out for sure.

Otherwise the only quick way would be to cover it all out of pocket.

Cheers mate. How much do you reckon it would be out of pocket? Also what would be an extenuating personal circumstance?

Mine was about $30,000 for single sided surgery, in a private hospital in Sydney. Not including the audiology assessments & adjustments after surgery. Thankfully, private health insurance paid for all of that (with a tiny contribution by Medicare), and Medicare is taking care of the audiology costs.


Does the $30k include the processer?

Yes. Surgeon, anaesthetist, surgical assistant, hospitals fees (eg. Nurses, sterilising, admin, bed fee, etc), implant, processor, spare bits and bobs for the processor.

Here in Melbourne through the public system is a 4-5 month wait at the Eye and Ear hospital.
Where as the other public hospitals it could be greater than a year. But as it’s name says it only has eye and ear patients. The number of interstate patients this hospital deals with is a fair few. If you think it would be worth your while traveling get you GP to refer you to the implant clinic.

Fingers crossed for you that you don’t have a long wait.


The public system waiting period varies from state to state as it is based on funding (federal vs state etc.) for the CI program. I was told earlier this week at a CI information session that South Australia currently has about a 12-18 month wait.

I was previously assessed in the public system, but did not qualify as I still have functional hearing in my right ear, so I have to go private.