About the roadmap
The National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability aims to address serious health inequities faced by people with intellectual disability. It outlines how we can create a health system where people with intellectual disability are valued, respected, and have access to high quality, timely and comprehensive health care.
Why we need a roadmap
There are about 450,000 people with intellectual disability in Australia.
Compared with the general population, people with intellectual disability have:
- 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
- significantly lower rates of preventive healthcare.
People with intellectual disability deserve access to high quality health care that meets their needs and supports them to lead healthy and active lives.
Goals of the roadmap
The roadmap aims to:
- improve support for people with intellectual disability, their families and carers
- develop better models of care for people with intellectual disability
- support health professionals to deliver quality care for people with intellectual disability
- improve the oral health of people with intellectual disability
- improve monitoring of the health of people with intellectual disability
- ensure that emergency plans and responses meet the needs of people with intellectual disability.
Collaborative development and action
The roadmap has been informed by detailed consultations with stakeholders, including people with intellectual disability, family members and other carers. It includes many of the recommendations and proposed actions they put forward.
This is a collaborative approach to address the needs of people with intellectual disability. It will need commitment and cooperation between:
- the Australian Government
- state and territory governments
- educational institutions
- health care providers and professionals
- other stakeholders.
It also requires engagement with people with intellectual disability, their families and carers, and support workers.
We have set up the Roadmap Implementation Governance Group (RIGG) to oversee implementation of the roadmap.
Projects funded under the roadmap
The Australian Government is investing $43.3 million to fund the following priorities of the roadmap:
- Primary Care Enhancement Program for people with intellectual disability (PCEP)
- Improving the implementation of annual health assessments for people with intellectual disability
- Curriculum development in intellectual disability health
- National Centre of Excellence in Intellectual Disability Health.
The Australian Government set up the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce to provide recommendations on the highest priority investments in primary care, backed by the $750 million Strengthen Medicare Fund.
Building on the Primary Care 10 Year Plan, the taskforce recommended options to:
- increase access to equitable and affordable primary care
- encourage multidisciplinary care
- modernise primary care through data and digital reform, and
- support organisational and cultural change in the primary care sector.
These will help improve the health and wellbeing of people with intellectual disability.
The Taskforce provided its final report to Government in December 2022.
The roadmap will also support health and wellbeing outcomes under Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031.