26 September 2023

Health hits roadmap to address disability

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The Department of Health has released a landmark roadmap aiming to address the serious health inequities faced by people with intellectual disability.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt said compared with the general population, people with intellectual disability were likely to experience more than twice the rate of avoidable deaths; twice the rate of emergency department and hospital admissions; substantially higher rates of physical and mental health conditions; and significantly lower rates of preventive healthcare.

“(The Roadmap) will help develop a health system in which people with intellectual disability are valued and respected and have access to high quality, timely and comprehensive health care,” Mr Hunt said.

“This is a collaborative approach to address the needs of people with intellectual disability and will require commitment and cooperation between Federal and State and Territory Governments, educational institutions, health care providers and professionals, and other stakeholders,” he said.

“It also requires direct engagement with people with intellectual disability, their families and carers, and support workers.”

Mr Hunt said the key objectives of the Department’s National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability were to improve support for people with intellectual disability, their families and carers; develop better models of care for people with intellectual disability; provide support for health professionals to help them deliver quality care for people with intellectual disability; improve the oral health of people with intellectual disability; strengthen research, data and measurement to monitor the health outcomes of people with intellectual disability; and improve emergency preparedness and response.

The Minister said the Department would establish a governance group to oversee implementation of the roadmap, which would involve people with intellectual disability; families and carers of people with intellectual disability; representatives from the health and disability sectors; representatives of universities, professional colleges, accreditation and registration bodies; and Commonwealth, State and Territory Government representatives.

He said the Roadmap was developed in consultation with stakeholders, including people with intellectual disability, family members and other carers.

The Department’s 31-page Roadmap can be accessed at this PS News link.

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