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.

Our other partners are Down Syndrome Australia, the Australian Association of Developmental Disability Medicine and the Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (UNSW).

We are very pleased to report recent progress in this campaign with funding announcements made in the 2021-22 Federal Budget.

2021-22 funding commitments include:

  • $6.7 million to improve the uptake and effectiveness of GP annual health assessments for people with intellectual disability.
  • $1.4 million for scoping and co-design of a National Centre of Excellence in Intellectual Disability Health.
  • $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 last year’s 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.

Further, following a series of roundtables involving the intellectual disability and health communities, the Department of Health is now finalising the National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability. We hope the Roadmap will be released later in 2021.

For further detail on all this, see the Department of Health announcement.

The Our Health Counts campaign will continue as we advocate for the early release and steady implementation of a strong National Roadmap.

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

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

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 have 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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These files will help you take action. Tips on what you can say to politicians, and our detailed proposal.

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