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, Council for Intellectual Disability.

CID joined with our national organisation Inclusion Australia to launch the ‘Our Health Counts – End Deadly Disability Discrimination’ campaign across Australia.

Update: The Australian Government has heard our concerns and is taking action. Read about the government’s response.

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

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.

The solution

  1. Leadership on this issue from the Government of Australia.
  2. Build and pilot curriculum content on the health needs of people with intellectual disability in university medical and nursing courses.
  3. Fund at least 90 intellectual disability health workers around Australia as an information resource for GPs and to help people with intellectual disability find the right health professional.
  4. We need a national inquiry to find out how to make the health system work for people with intellectual disability.


Campaign update

As a result of our campaigning in the lead up to the 2019 election, Labor committed to funding of $9.5 million if they were elected, and The Greens committed the full $50 million we were seeking.

Greg Hunt, Minister for Health, agreed that there were major problems to be addressed and committed to holding a Roundtable ‘to inform consideration of action’.

The Roundtable was held on 2 August 2019 in Sydney. Shu Hua Chan, our Chairperson, and Rebecca Kelly presented to the Roundtable. We are delighted that a number of positive steps were taken at the Roundtable. To find out more, read our report from the Roundtable.

This is a good start, but there is still much to do. Stay in touch with the campaign by signing up to our eNews.

Support from eminent Australians

120 eminent health professionals, academics and community leaders have now 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 the Hon. Greg Hunt MP. Please thank the Minister for his commitment to a roundtable in August 2019 and ask him to also make a commitment to fund the outcomes of the roundtable.

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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Campaign toolkit

Campaign toolkit

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

Our campaigns