News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Better care needed for intellectually disabled

Media release 7 December 2007

Expert seeks better health care for people with intellectual disability

An Australian doctor and researcher, who is pushing for better health care for people with intellectual disabilities, is visiting Wellington next week for meetings at Parliament, with IHC and with health and disability experts.

Dr Nicholas Lennox is head of the Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability at the University of Queensland and is involved in research on the health needs of people with intellectual disabilities.

He has developed a programme in Australia to help meet these needs. The Comprehensive Health Assessment Programme (CHAP) is a two-part health questionnaire – one part filled out by the person with an intellectual disability with their family and supporters, the second part filled out by their GP. The programme has been adopted by most state governments and many non-government organisations across Australia and overseas.

Dr Lennox has also been involved in the development of the ASK (Advocacy Skills Kit) diary – a five-year health diary containing personal histories and medical records, health tips for the diary owners and information for their GP.

IHC is investigating the possibility of introducing both the CHAP programme and the ASK diary in New Zealand. Dr Lennox is to meet Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson on Monday 10 December, and National Disability Issues spokesperson Dr Paul Hutchison, IHC and Ministry of Health officials later in the week.

IHC General Manager of Specialist Services Wendy Rhodes says people with intellectual disabilities have lower life expectancy and a greater number of health problems than the general population.

"These health conditions are not always recognised or inadequately managed.

"There needs to be an annual, fully funded extended medical consultation and physical examination of each person with an intellectual disability. This will promote better diagnosis, treatment and preventative healthcare," she says.

The most recent Disability Survey shows there are about 50,000 New Zealanders with an intellectual disability. The Ministry of Health funds residential support services for approximately 6000 adults with intellectual disability.

"People with intellectual disability need help to get access to health care and evidence shows that a comprehensive annual health check is essential to identify health conditions and determine appropriate treatment," Wendy Rhodes says.

"In Australia and various parts of the United Kingdom their governments are funding an annual health check by their GP."


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland