IHC Welcomes Health System Review

Media release
16 June 2020


IHC has welcomed the Health and Disability System Review, and its commitment to a better future for New Zealanders with intellectual disability.

IHC Director of Advocacy Trish Grant said she was pleased to see an acknowledgment in the report that “an individual’s disability should not define their life chances.

“That hasn’t always been the case, and we applaud the comments that people with disabilities have not been well served to date. This must change.”

The report notes that the proportion of the population with disability is likely to grow as the population increases and ages.

“It’s good to see future-focussed thinking to improve the lives of the thousands of New Zealanders for whom disability is a daily reality,” Trish says.

“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. IHC supports the recommendation that people’s real support needs will be responded to, rather than judged by diagnosis.”

In particular, IHC:

  • Welcomes the suggestion that people will be assessed for support on need not diagnosis
  • Supports the call for the Māori Health Authority and questions whether a similar approach is needed to hold information for people with disabilities
  • Approves the intent of having all parts of the system joined up for efficiency and effectiveness
  • Welcomes the call for a clear accountability framework focused on better outcomes
  • Will continue to monitor the experiences of individuals as change is implemented.

“We think this is a strong foundation stone to be added to in terms of how we can better support people with disabilities,” Trish says.

“However, we want to see more on the linking with other agencies such as education and income support.”

IHC also welcomes the expectation the review should create a better trained and more secure disability support services workforce.

“As always, we look forward to working with Government and health officials to improve the lives of the people we support,” Trish says.