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Greater support for Australians with an intellectual disability

Tags Conditions Autism Down Syndrome Accessibility

Posted 1 month ago by Rebecca St Clair

It will also aim to increase recognition that people living with intellectual disability have the right to the same quality and access to health services. (Source: Shutterstock)
It will also aim to increase recognition that people living with intellectual disability have the right to the same quality and access to health services. (Source: Shutterstock)

The Federal Government is investing $6.5 million into a Primary Care Enhancement Program (PCEP) to support Australians with an intellectual disability.

The new funding will be provided over four financial years under the Primary Health Networks (PHN) Program.

This announcement comes as the Disability Royal Commission’s recent hearing into Health concluded in Sydney last week.

The funding will go towards:

  • Supporting PHNs to build their capacity to support health professionals in caring for people with intellectual disability.
  • Providing practical material for GPs and other primary health care professionals to enhance their capability.
  • Developing health promotion information for people with intellectual disability and their families.

Jim Simpson a Senior Advocate from the Council for Intellectual Disability (CID) says that these measures are a move toward better care.

“[The Primary Care Enhancement Program] addresses the currently very low rates of health promotion, preventative health and detection of health conditions experienced by people with intellectual disability,” he says.

The Enhancement Program is being developed through four lead Primary Health Networks.

The goal is to roll out the Primary Care Enhancement Program on a national level. 

The Primary Care Enhancement Program was a recommendation made by the CID and Inclusion Australia to the Federal Government in lead up to the 2019 budget and Federal election. 

It was established following a roundtable discussion in August 2019 addressing discrimination in accessing the Australian health system and its quality for people living with an intellectual disability.

The roundtable resulted in a commitment to building a national roadmap with short, medium and long-term priorities to address areas of concern as well as identify practical ways to improve health care for those with an intellectual disability. 

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

The next roundtable will be convened in Sydney on 7 April 2020. Key actions to progress will include:

  • Establishing better models of care for people with intellectual disability.
  • Improving support for health professionals providing care for people with intellectual disability.
  • Better research and data.
  • The roadmap will also better integrate primary care with specialist and hospital care and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Find more information about the Roadmap.

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