NZ Health Strategy promises a better deal for people with intellectual disabilities
IHC welcomes today’s announcement of the NZ Health Strategy and is particularly pleased to see that action is being taken to improve the health of people with intellectual disabilities.
IHC Director of Advocacy, Trish Grant, says, “Updating the health strategy to take some action to improve the health of people with intellectual disabilities is long overdue.”
The NZ Health Strategy has recognised that people with intellectual disability are a priority population group when it comes needing access to quality healthcare. The Strategy states that disabled people generally experience worse health than the rest of the population.
“People with intellectual disability can expect to live 18-23 fewer years than the rest of the New Zealand population. IHC has advocated over many years for actions to address the disparities in access to healthcare and in health outcomes experienced by people with intellectual disability”, says Trish Grant.
“As a population group people with intellectual disabilities experience high levels of unmet health need, high rates of polypharmacy and difficulties in being included in health promotion activities and screening programmes.”
IHC is actively involved in current Ministry of Health work to improve health outcomes for people with intellectual disability.
“It’s been a long time coming to get a commitment to undertake this work. We look forward to this being translated into meaningful and sustained changes so that all New Zealanders get well, stay well and live well”, says Trish Grant.