Spanish Association of Audiology and Hearing Care Sector (ANSAA) launched



ANSAA has been recently created in Spain as a non-profit organisation by Amplifon, Audifon, Cottet, GAES and Oticon. According to the group's promoters the aim of the association is to regulate "professional activity, above all to meet an "ethics and good practice code" of special importance for "relations between companies and the collective of health professionals in general and ENT specialists in particular".

The new association for the sector was officially presented by each of its founders individualy at the recent 68th National Congress of the SEORL-CCC, with attending professionals receiving a run-down of the group's founding principles.

Regarding its first essential objective, its organisers referred to the regulation of practices for the relation between manufacturing firms of hearing aids and audiology material, and health professionals, currently laid down in Spain by Decree 1/2015-July 24- for which a text was approved, one combining the laws on health guarantees and rational use of health medicines.

More specifically, ANSAA firmly alleges that this regulatory text literally lays down that "in the interests of guaranteeing the independence of decisions relating to the prescription, dispensing, and administration of medicines involving business interests, it is prohibited to directly or indirectly offer any kind of incentive, extra pay, discount, bonus, or gift from those with a direct stake in the production, manufacture, and sales of medicine to health professionals involved in the cycle of prescription, dispensing and administration, or to their relatives or domestic partners. This prohibition will be equally applied when such an offer is made to health professionals who prescribe health products..."

What this means is a dichotomy, the payment of commissions for the diversion of patients to a company. Hence, the founders of the Spanish Association of the Audiology and Hearing Care Sector (ANSAA) underline this delicate issue as the first of their objectives, which are listed as follows:

  • To oversee respect for and compliance with the deontological code of the sector, promoting rigour and transparency in the exercising of the profession.
  • To boost agreements and synergies that enable updating and ongoing training of health professionals.
  • To get across knowledge of the latest technological advances being developed in the hearing solutions sector.

In line with all this, the four values defining ANSAA are "legality, excellence, transparency, and professional independence".

Training and updating

The ANSAA founding and promoting firms, in alphabetical order, as they appear in their leaflets and posters are: Amplifon, Audifon, Cottet, GAES, and Oticon, and they define this association as "non-profit making" and, besides the concern with "regulation", they also propose "defending the professional interests of specialists in hearing" and also "supporting training of health professionals with special interest in updating hearing solutions," this latter aspect through the dissemination of knowledge of the latest technological advances developed in the hearing solutions sector.

ANSAA's governing board comprises Santiago Pérez as president (GAES); Juan Manuel Martín, secretary and treasurer (Audifon); and board members Pilar Moro (Oticon), Waldemar Ibarra (Amplifon), and Alejandro Cottet (Cottet firm).

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Source: AudioEnPortada