Help Maureen and CID stop deadly disability discrimination

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Maureen McIlquham’s daughter Michelle should not have died at 28 years of age. Michelle was an outgoing and friendly young person; an accomplished horse rider and much-loved family and community member. Michelle also had an Intellectual Disability. 

Her death was due to a disastrous misdiagnosis of meningitis. The doctors misinterpreted Michelle’s responses, assuming her reactions were due to her disability instead of the intense pain she was experiencing.

A recent landmark study from University of New South Wales shows that disability discrimination is deadly.

In fact, in NSW 38% of deaths of people with intellectual disability are preventable.

Council for Intellectual Disability is calling for proper investment in the health of people with intellectual disability so that we can end the terrible number of Australians with intellectual disability dying from preventable illness.

We need the Government to commit to $9.5 million in the 2018 budget with staged increases over 4 years to reach $17 million annually by 2022. This would enable the implementation of recommendations in accordance with NSW Health’s own Framework to Improve the Health Care of People with Intellectual Disability.

“$17 million will fund a statewide network of specialised intellectual disability health teams. These teams will be expert consultants for people with complex health needs and drive the change needed across mainstream health services." says Jim Simpson, NSW CID Senior Advocate. 

This is a human rights issue and the Government needs to urgently address it.

Michelle’s death was preventable and sadly illustrates what can happen if good quality and intellectual disability informed health care is not provided to people with intellectual disability.



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