While people with intellectual disabilities have inequitable access to health services and poorer health outcomes, there are ways you can support their good health.

Annual health checks

Comprehensive annual checks are the most effective strategy for maintaining good health and wellbeing.

Health passports

A health passport is a booklet that can be used for all medical appointments. It contains information about the best ways to communicate with and support the person with a disability.

Support available

When people with intellectual disabilities become unwell or have an accident, they have the same right as anyone else to access supports, in addition to their disability supports. The NASC, or in some regions a Care Coordination Centre, should work with all the support agencies involved to ensure that appropriate and well-coordinated services are arranged.

Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code)

The Code establishes the rights of people using health and disability services, and the obligations and duties of providers to comply with the Code.

All New Zealanders have the same rights under the Code.

Two important rights for people with intellectual disabilities are often not recognised or responded to:

  • The right to be fully informed
  • The right to support

Go to the Health & Disability Commission website for more information on the Code and Easy Read resources.

Where rights under the code have been breached, it is best to talk or write to the health provider concerned. Keep a copy of any correspondence. Support for making a complaint can be accessed from the free and independent Health and Disability Advocacy Service. You can also complain to the Health and Disability Commissioner.

How we can help

If you have any questions call our Community Connect phone line 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday on 0800 442 311