Call for a Clean Bill of Health for People with Intellectual Disability

February 24, 2017

 “I was told by 4 (four) different GPs when my daughter was not eating enough to grow and survive that this was “nature's way of taking care of things!"

When the New South Wales Council for Intellectual Disability (NSWCID) recently invited people to share their experiences of discrimination in the health system they were inundated with the response.

“Thousands of people have contacted us, many sharing health horror stories – from being ignored by health staff, to refused treatment and in many cases of misdiagnosis” said Aine Healy, Director of Advocacy, NSW CID.

These stories, along with a petition of nearly 10,000 supporters calling for change and landmark research regarding the poor health care of people with intellectual disability will inform the conversation when NSW CID and UNSW Professor Julian Trollor meet with Health Minister Brad Hazzard today. 

Joining them will be NSW CID Member Erin, who has Down Syndrome. When she suffered a stroke at the age of 28, instead of being offered rehabilitation, her mother was informed by the treating doctor to “take her home, because really how hard to you want to try?”

NSW CID is calling upon the government to commit to enhancing the mainstream health services system capacity to treat people with intellectual disability as well as provide much needed specialist services.

“An investment of $50M a year in these actions will not only save lives and improve health but also save money in the NSW health system and other service systems – it is a win win proposition on what is a major human rights issue” says Ms Healy.

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