PSA welcomes Roadmap to improve the health of the intellectually disabled
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) supports the Government’s plan to improve the health of Australians living with intellectual disability.
Last Friday, 13th August, the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, launched the National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability.
This comprehensive plan will look to improve the health outcomes of people with intellectual disability in Australia over the next decade, with the Morrison Government initially committing $19.3 million to fund the first actions of the Roadmap.
The Roadmap will look to improve the overall standard of care and support that is provided to people with intellectual disability through more effective models of care, greater support for health workers, improved monitoring of their conditions and greater consideration in emergency planning and responses.
PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, expressed his support for the ten-year plan.
“PSA strongly supports the key objectives of the National Roadmap, in particular, the development of better models of care for people with intellectual disability and support for health professionals to deliver quality care for this cohort.
“While there is rightly an urgency to address inappropriate use of psychotropic medicines by people with intellectual disability, as PSA outlined in its submission to the Disability Royal Commission last year, there is broader concern for people with disability who require support with their medicines.
“It is vital that these vulnerable Australians, their families, and their carers have routine access to pharmacists and appropriate medication management programs to help ensure medication safety, support optimal and quality use of medicines and improve quality of life,” A/Prof Freeman said.
PSA SA/NT Branch Committee Member, Dr Manya Angley, who appeared as a witness at the Disability Royal Commission, highlighted various opportunities where pharmacists can identify inappropriate medicines use, and work with prescribers and other members of the disability care team to ensure quality use of medicines.
“People with intellectual disability experience stark mental and physical health disadvantage compared to the general Australian population.
“As medicines are the most powerful intervention used in health care, pharmacists are well positioned to improve overall health by ensuring quality use of medicines. Inappropriate medicine use, especially psychotropics, is a problem concerning both the health and disability sectors – hence, interdisciplinary collaboration is required to address it.
“My experience working in the sector is that it is equally challenging and rewarding. The key role pharmacists can play in the healthcare of these Australians needs to be clearly defined and resourced accordingly. The Roadmap is an opportunity to enable this,” Dr Angley said.
PSA looks forward to continuing the collaboration with all partners in implementing the initiatives of the comprehensive 10-year plan to improve the health outcomes of people with intellectual disability in Australia.
For further information on the Roadmap, please visit the National Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Intellectual Disability | Australian Government Department of Health.
Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463