A recent Ministry of Health report says that people with intellectual disability are more disadvantaged in terms of their health and life expectancy, compared to people without intellectual disability. Males have a life expectancy 18 years less and females 23 years less than other New Zealanders.
Other health indicators for people with an intellectual disability include being
- 1.5 times more likely to receive care or treatment for chronic health conditions
- Over four times more likely to have public hospital admissions that could have been avoided
- Over three times more likely to receive care and treatment for mental health disorders
- Less likely to have had breast or cervical screening (for women)
IHC believes that:
- People with an intellectual disability need quality health information they can understand and use
- People with an intellectual disability should receive a funded annual health assessment so health issues are diagnosed and treated quickly
- The prescribing practices for people with an intellectual disability should be reviewed to ensure they comply with best practice guidelines
- Dental health services and treatment should be easily available for all people with an intellectual disability.
What we are doing:
IHC is campaigning for funded annual health checks for all people with an intellectual disability. We are providing the Ministry of Health with evidence that comprehensive annual heath assessments are the most effective tool for improving the health status of people with an intellectual disability.
We are challenging health promoters and health information providers to include people with an intellectual disability in their initiatives and to ensure their products are accessible for all disabled people.
Join us/take action
- Read the Human Rights Commission ‘Right to Health‘ presentation
- Read the National Health Committee recommendations
- Read the 2011 report Health Indicators for New Zealanders with Intellectual Disability
- Lobby government , ask for Funded Annual Health Assessments for people with an intellectual disability
- Demand that the Minister of Health instruct the Ministry of Health to implement the National Health Committees recommendations
- In your own community, advocate for all local health promotion initiatives include people with an intellectual disability