Improving access to primary care for disabled people

Publication date: 11 September 2013

This report looks at initiatives in New Zealand that aim to improve the physical health of disabled people.

Research has consistently identified disabled people as experiencing poorer health than their peers in the general population, and as being disadvantaged in their access to primary health services. In New Zealand, some disability services have attempted to address these concerns by implementing initiatives to improve health for disabled people.

Despite this activity, little is known about the extent and types of initiatives that have been implemented. A research project explored primary health initiatives used to improve the health of disabled people within disability support services; the perceptions of disability service providers and primary health professionals of the barriers to primary health care for disabled people; and related training needs for the primary health and disability sectors.

The Donald Beasley Institute was commissioned to conduct the project which is comprised of three parts: a literature review, a survey of disability services, and a consultation process. All parts of the project explored the health needs and barriers to primary health care for disabled people including those with physical, intellectual and sensory impairments.