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Local Solutions Working In Health And Disability

Friday 29 October 1999


The deinstitutionalisation of health and disability services and the development of local solutions for local problems are benefiting health users, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said today at the opening of the new Brackenridge Estate for residents with disabilities.

"Over the last decade we have put a lot of effort into improving support services for people with disabilities like those at Brackenridge Estate.

"Understandably, people were concerned about deinstitutionalisation when it was first mooted, but now the benefits are beginning to flow through.

"People are getting better care in modern, responsive facilities and are enjoying more flexibility and independence. Families are also more empowered to make decisions about the type of care that best suits the needs of relatives with disabilities."

During the opening ceremony, Mrs Shipley released a paper outlining National's six-pronged approach to disability support services.

The paper outlines three broad goals - to maximise independence, have effective habilitation and rehabilitation, and to support opportunities to participate.

"We want greater emphasis on family involvement in determining services, more flexibility in funding arrangements for disability support, and better coordination of service delivery.

"In July, we put Associate Health Minister Georgina te Heuheu in charge of disability support services, to ensure people with disabilities have a specific advocate in Cabinet which is an important step in improving outcomes for people.

"National's policy of deinstitutionalisation is working extremely well. We will continue to help people with disabilities to live independent and fulfilling lives, while receiving the support services they need," Mrs Shipley said.


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