Governments must act now on recommendations of Disability Royal Commission

All Australian governments must take urgent action on the recommendations of the Disability Royal Commission.

| 20 Jun 2024

The National Centre of Excellence in Intellectual Disability Health has called on all Australian governments to take urgent action following the recommendations of the Disability Royal Commission.

Read the Centre's response to the Royal Commission's recommendations

The Royal Commission found that people with cognitive disability experience ongoing systemic neglect in the Australian health system. As a result, people are experiencing poor health outcomes and dying unnecessarily.

The Federal, State and Territory Governments are due to respond to the Royal Commission in July.

Judy Huett, a woman with intellectual disability and Co-Chair of the Centre Council has said that people with intellectual disabilities have waited long enough and cannot wait any longer given their poor health outcomes.  

“We have worked long and hard to have our voices heard by government. Unfortunately, we have lost many people with intellectual disability along the way, friends, family members and colleagues," she said.

"We need to hear from government that we are important. We need to hear that they will do something to make sure people with intellectual disability are protected from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.” 

Director of the Centre Professor Julian Trollor stressed that strong and specific action is needed to address the particular disadvantage experienced by people with intellectual disability, and that reform must also include a focus on First Nations People who experience not just ableism but also racism in health care.

“Very poor health outcomes, including very high rates of preventable deaths have been apparent for many years and can no longer be ignored," he said.

"Government must act swiftly and comprehensively on the Royal Commission's recommendations, and this work must develop culturally appropriate solutions to the critical health gap for First Nations People with intellectual disability.”  

Jim Simpson, Senior Advocate with Centre partner Council for Intellectual Disability (CID) said people with intellectual disability are suffering and dying unnecessarily.

“Our members with intellectual disability, family members and CID staff gave evidence to the Royal Commission about the terrible neglect that occurs far too often in the health system. The Commissioners listened and have made strong findings. Now, Governments must act on the Royal Commission’s recommendations,” he said.

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