Our health counts

Shu“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. 

Our health counts

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

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 more than 450,000 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.

See our detailed proposal to all political parties.

Campaign update

On 29 April Labor’s Shadow Minister for Health, Catherine King announced a $9.5 million commitment to improving health services for people with intellectual disability. $6.3 million will be allocated across four Primary Health Networks for a 3 year pilot project and $3.2 million to develop, trial and evaluate a 'toolkit' on intellectual disability health care for student doctors and nurses.

The Greens have made a full implementation funding commitment of $50 million.

Minister Greg Hunt, Minister for Health has committed to a roundtable “ to inform consideration of action” but we also want a funding commitment from the Coalition which at least matches Labor’s $9.5 million.

See photos of Labor’s announcement.

Eminent health professionals, academics and community leaders support us

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 and ask him to also make a funding commitment of at least $9.5 million to devote to action over the next 3 years.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
(02) 6277 7220
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download a helpful guide on what you can say.

More ways you can help

  • Sign our petition and ask your friends and family to sign.

  • View and share a video of Shu talking about why it is important for the Government to act.

  • Put up posters in your area or distribute flyers to raise awareness: download Our Health Counts poster (PDF, 2MB); download Our Health Counts flyer (PDF, 1MB) We can also post some to you. Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

  • Phone, email and meet with your Coalition Federal MP and ask “Can we count on you to commit to fixing this problem?”. Download our guide to meeting your Coalition MP.

  • Follow us and share our campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Read and share the article in The Guardian about the campaign featuring Ryan and Rebecca.

  • Read and share the article in The Guardian outlining Labor’s 9.5 million commitment

Contact our Advocacy team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information and help. 

Shu with a love heart


Inclusion Australia logo



* References 
Data on this page come from:


Share this page online   Share on Facebook    Share on Twitter   

Like this post? Why not sign up to our enews, or follow us online:    facebook  twitter  youtube  Our instagram channel

ph. 1800 424 065       email: info@nswcid.org.au

Contact us | Complaints policy | Privacy policy

All copyright rights reserved. Council for Intellectual Disability

mcm logo v2 CID