The Morrison Government has released the landmark National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability, which aims to address the serious health inequities faced by people with intellectual disability.
Compared with the general population, people with intellectual disability are 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 key objectives of the roadmap are 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, as a key requirement for improving their general health and overall wellbeing
- strengthen research, data and measurement to monitor the health outcomes of people with intellectual disability, and assess the effectiveness of initiatives in improving their health, and
- improve emergency preparedness and response to ensure that the needs of people with intellectual disability are considered and met.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the Roadmap was developed in consultation with stakeholders, including people with intellectual disability, family members and other carers.
“The Roadmap incorporates many of the recommendations and proposed actions put forward during our consultations with the sector and is a collaborative approach to address the needs of people with intellectual disability,” Minister Hunt said.
“It 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.”
“I commend everyone involved in the development of this roadmap. To all members of the intellectual disability community – this roadmap is for you”
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.
It also requires direct engagement with people with intellectual disability, their families and carers, and support workers.
All Australians deserve access to safe and high quality health care, and it is important that people with intellectual disability can access care that meets their needs and supports them to lead healthy and active lives.
The roadmap will form part of the Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan. The roadmap will also support health and wellbeing outcomes under Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031, which is due to be released later this year.
The Morrison Government is investing $19.26 million in initial funding for a number of key priority actions identified in the roadmap, including:
- $6.56 million to develop a Primary Care Enhancement Program for People with Intellectual Disability
- $6.7 million to improve implementation of annual health assessments for people with intellectual disability
- $4.7 million for curriculum development in intellectual disability health, and
- $1.4 million to scope and co-design a National Centre of Excellence in Intellectual Disability Health.
The Department of Health will establish a governance group to oversee implementation of the roadmap, involving:
- 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 and state and territory government representatives.
More information about the roadmap is available via www.health.gov.au