NZ Health Strategy to improve lives of people with intellectual disabilities

A new strategy put together by Health New Zealand is set 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 New Zealand Health Strategy has acknowledged that people with intellectual disabilities is priority when it comes to needing access to quality healthcare. 

The Strategy states that disabled people experience worse health than the rest of the population. 

Grant says, “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.

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 disabilities.

“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.