Disabled people wait with bated breath amid health transformation announcements

Media release
21 April 2021

IHC has welcomed the health announcements today that make brave and significant changes for the health sector – and hopes they’ll be followed with the same for the disability sector.

The announcements following the Health and Disability Review mean people with disabilities won’t have to deal with the existing post code lottery when it comes to dealing with DHBs and also point to a greater voice and choice for consumers.

But significant changes are also needed in the disability sector in order to achieve a level playing field.

IHC is heartened to see Health Minister Andrew Little’s acknowledgement that disability issues are not solely health issues and span the full range of social issues.

IHC Director of Advocacy Trish Grant says the disability sector is desperate for change but willing to wait for the job to be done properly – rather than seeing more tinkering around the edges.

“Disabled people have called for a system that is joined up to respond to their individual support needs rather than just their diagnosis - a system codesigned by disabled people and families that is underpinned by Enabling Good Lives principles.

“It’s time for a fairer system that sees health, education and income support connected so that people with disabilities can succeed.

“Over half of the users of disability support services have an intellectual disability as their primary diagnosis, but a diagnosis doesn’t tell the whole story of what’s needed.

IHC looks forward to continuing to work with the Government and health officials towards the recommendation that people’s real support needs will be responded to.