Media Release: Friday 31 March 2017 

The solutions to ending deadly disability discrimination in the health system are clear, and the NSW Government must act by committing funds to expand successful programs and protect disability health services from the axe.

A parliamentary forum today heard that life-saving Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC) funded disability health services were in danger, with the Government giving no guarantees that the highly successful programs would continue.

Essential services under threat include specialist nurses supporting medical practitioners who had proved key to avoiding the misdiagnosis of people with intellectual disability.

NSW Council for Intellectual Disability spokesperson Jim Simpson said the stakes couldn’t be higher, with 38 percent of people with intellectual disabilities in NSW dying from preventable causes.

“If these services go, then we are going to see so much more human suffering, we are going to see so many people with intellectual disability die preventable deaths,” Mr Simpson said.

“So the challenge that we make to the government is to make sure that those ADHC services are maintained.”

The parliamentary forum, attended by Minister for Disability Services, Hon Raymond Williams and Shadow Minister for Disability Services, Hon Sophie Cotsis, heard there had long been a broad consensus that there were two key approaches needed to reduce the number of preventable deaths among people with intellectual disabilities. 

The first was to improve mainstream health services so they were are skilled and responsive to the needs of people with intellectual disability, and secondly to provide a network of specialised intellectual disability health services to back up the mainstream services.

For more details of the services under threat, see attachment.

To organise an interview please contact Angus Hohenboken on 0447313205 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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