Health Minister Hazzard hears the call for urgent action on health inequalities
Council for Intellectual Disability (CID) has met with NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard to put our case for urgent action on the stark health inequalities experienced by people with intellectual disability.
Our call for action has been supported by an open letter to the Minister from 55 eminent health and disability professionals including, for example, leaders of the colleges of physicians, psychiatrists and general practitioners. The letter says:
As a clear priority, people with intellectual disability and complex physical or mental health conditions need Statewide access to healthcare professionals with specialised skills in their health care needs. Just as we have specialists in a range of specific and often complex needs, for example paediatrics and geriatrics, so we need specialists in the health care of people with intellectual disability.
Read the full letter.
We have called on the Minister to approve a new investment of $9.5 million in the coming State budget, growing to $17 million over four years, to fund a Statewide network of intellectual disability health teams.
Our meeting with the Minister
In our meeting, the Minister gave a very thoughtful hearing to our call and emphasised his understanding of the health inequalities experienced by people with intellectual disability. Many years ago, Mr Hazzard was Shadow Minister for Disability Services and showed a strong and informed commitment to people with disability.
The NSW budget will be handed down in June. There are always many competing calls on the health budget. We now look to Minister Hazzard to give priority to establishing these critically important health services for people with intellectual disability. Setting up these multidisciplinary health teams across the state will save many lives.
Find out more about our End Deadly Disability Discrimination campaign.