The Morrison Government will invest a total of $28 million to establish a National Centre of Excellence in Intellectual Disability Health.
This investment includes $8 million over two years for the establishment of the Centre and $20 million for a grant round through the Medical Research Future Fund.
The National Centre will be fundamental for delivering the National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability and addressing the health inequities faced by people with intellectual disability.
Compared with the general population, people with intellectual disability experience:
- more than twice the rate of avoidable deaths
- twice the rate of emergency department and hospital admissions
- substantially higher rates of physical and mental health conditions, and
- significantly lower rates of preventive healthcare.
The National Centre will be established with four core, inter-related functions:
- providing national leadership in intellectual disability health;
- identifying national research and data priorities; translating research; and analysing and interpreting health data;
- lifting the capability of health services in meeting the needs of people with intellectual disability; and
- providing online support, including an online portal to help connect people with intellectual disability to appropriate health services, and providing health resources and information for people with intellectual disability and their families.
To help deliver these functions, the National Centre will establish a central hub of expertise, resources and research, and make it available to all health and disability service providers.
The Department of Health will undertake a competitive grant opportunity in 2022-23 to select a host for the National Centre.
Jim Simpson from the Council for Intellectual Disability welcomed the announcement, saying: “People with intellectual disability and their families will welcome this announcement. The National Centre on Intellectual Disability Health will be a key driver of action on the terrible health inequalities experienced by people with intellectual disability – up to 50% preventable deaths and dying 27 years earlier than the general population.”
“The National Centre is vital to the implementation of the 10 year plan in the National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability that was launched by Minister Hunt last August.”
“The funding announced by the Minister will allow the establishment of a Centre with solid foundations and for important research into practical strategies for improving health care for a very disadvantaged population. We look forward to working with the incoming Government in building on those foundations.”
“We applaud the very collaborative way in which Minister Hunt and his Department have worked with the intellectual disability community over the last three years in developing the National Roadmap and now in funding these initiatives.”
In addition to the funding for the National Centre, our Government is also making available $20.0 million from 2024-25 from the Medical Research Future Fund Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative, for research to improve health outcomes for people with intellectual disability.
Research priorities for this investment will be developed in consultation with the National Centre, and funding will be disbursed though open competitive grant opportunities.
These record investments are in addition to the $19.4 million the Morrison Government is already providing for key priority actions in the Roadmap:
- $6.7 million to improve implementation of annual health assessments for people with intellectual disability
- $6.6 million to develop a Primary Care Enhancement Program for people with intellectual disability
- $4.7 million for curriculum development in intellectual disability health.
- $1.4 million to enable scoping and co-design of a model for the National Centre
Our Government is committed to improving healthcare for all Australians. When Mr Albanese and Labor were last in Government, they stopped listing essential medicines and treatments on the PBS, slashed funding for mental health support and tried to rip funding out of medical research.