Our health counts

Can we count on you to help us end deadly disability discrimination?

“Across Australia too many people with intellectual disability are dying too young and from preventable causes and we are not doing enough to fix this problem.” – Shu Hua Chan, Chairperson 2019-2020, Council for Intellectual Disability.

In 2019 CID joined with our national organisation Inclusion Australia to launch the ‘Our Health Counts – End Deadly Disability Discrimination’ campaign across Australia.
We are delighted to report that following a series of roundtables involving the intellectual disability and health communities, Health Minister Greg Hunt recently launched the National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability.

The Roadmap is a very comprehensive document which spells out a 10 year plan. It is very good to see that there is a strong commitment to make change quickly with
the majority of commitments in the first three years.

When launching the Roadmap, the Minister also announced his commitment to establish a National Centre for Excellence on the Health of People with Intellectual Disability.
He has allocated $1.4 million for scoping and co-design of this centre.

Further funding commitments in the 2021-22 Federal Budget include:

• $6.7 million to improve the uptake and effectiveness of GP annual health assessments
for people with intellectual disability.
• $4.6 million for development of curriculum on the needs of people with intellectual disability in tertiary education health courses.

These amounts build on the $6.6 million in the 2020-21 budget for the Primary Care Enhancement Program (PCEP). That money has gone to four lead Primary Health Networks who now have programs to enhance GP and other primary health care to people with intellectual disability. CID has also been funded to develop resources for the PCEP.

For further information see the Department of Health National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability and the Department of Health’s Media Release.
The Our Health Counts campaign will continue as we now seek commitment to the National Roadmap and a Centre of Excellence from all political parties.

The combined efforts of so many of us are getting results.

We particularly thank our campaign partners are Down Syndrome Australia, the Australian Association of Developmental Disability Medicine and the Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (UNSW).

The facts

There are close to 500,000 people with intellectual disability in Australia.*

Together, people with intellectual disability and their families number over 2 million.

The issues

Up to half the deaths of people with intellectual disability are preventable.

People with intellectual disability die 27 years earlier than the general population.

Health professionals face challenges communicating with and treating people with intellectual disability.



Support from eminent Australians

Before the 2019 federal election, 120 eminent health professionals, academics and community leaders signed an Open Letter calling on all political parties to address the health inequalities experienced by people with intellectual disability. Read our open letter and see who signed.

39 peak bodies and key organisations endorsed our campaign, including the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. See a list of endorsing organisations.


How you can help

Phone or email the Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP. Please thank the Minister for his commitment to a National Roadmap and for his funding commitments so far. Ask him to make a commitment to fully fund and steadily implement a strong National Roadmap.

Minister’s contact details

The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health
(02) 6277 7220 or minister.hunt@health.gov.au

Download a helpful guide on what you can say.

More ways you can help

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