Date published: 
26 August 2020
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

GPs and other health professionals in four regions will receive greater support to enable them to provide more effective care to people with intellectual disability.

The Morrison Government will provide a total of $5.75 million to four Primary Health Networks to lead development of the Primary Care Enhancement Program for people with intellectual disability.

Central and Eastern Sydney PHN, Western Victoria PHN, Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN, and Tasmania PHN, were selected to spearhead the enhancement program over four years, with a view to national rollout.

It will give people with intellectual disability better access to appropriate, quality health services that meet their needs. The four lead PHNs will:

  • Support health professionals in caring for people with intellectual disability.
  • Facilitate access to appropriate, quality health services for people with intellectual disability.
  • Promote take-up and quality of annual Medicare health assessments for people with intellectual disability.
  • Help to ensure people with intellectual disability have equitable access to quality health prevention and health promotion programs.
  • Ensure all of their programs are inclusive for people with intellectual disability.

The Council for Intellectual Disability will be a key partner with the Government as the Primary Care Enhancement Program is developed and rolled out.

National resources for the program will be developed over the next two years, including a training module for PHN staff, resources for GPs and other primary care professionals, National Disability Insurance Scheme linkage tools, and health promotion materials for people with intellectual disability and their families.

The Primary Care Enhancement Program was established following a roundtable in August 2019, which considered the inequities in health system access and quality for people with intellectual disability.

The Morrison Government is also developing a national roadmap with short, medium and long-term priorities to improve health services for people with intellectual disability. The roadmap will guide the better integration of primary care with specialist and hospital care.

It will also aim to increase recognition in the health sector and the community that people living with intellectual disability have the right to the same quality and access to health services as other Australians.

A series of further roundtables with a range of key stakeholders, including states and territories, will be held from October 2020 to complete development of the roadmap, for consideration by the Government.

More information about the roadmap is available at information about the Roadmap or via www.health.gov.au

Ministers: