IHC Welcomes New Ministry For Disabled People

IHC welcomes today’s announcement that the Government will establish a new standalone Ministry for Disabled People, supported by the Ministry of Social Development. Moving government disability support funding from the Ministry of Health represents a paradigm shift in the way disabled people are viewed and valued as equal citizens.

“Disabled people have long called for a system that is joined up and responds in a holistic way to who they are and what they need for a great life,” says IHC Director of Advocacy, Trish Grant.

“This decision shows the Government has listened to them, their families, and their advocacy and support organisations.

“Over half the users of disability support services have an intellectual disability as their primary diagnosis. This means it will be important for our sector to have a role in the set-up of the Ministry to ensure it is represented fairly.

“Providers too will need to be part of the consultation process and time to adjust to the change.

“It is great that the Government is committed to rolling out the Enabling Good Lives programme nationally under the new Ministry. We’re also encouraged that the Māori Health Authority will have a relationship with providers of Māori services.

“In the longer term we would like education to be covered by the Ministry as well, to make it easier to put in place holistic, wrap-around services across the social sector for people with disabilities.”