Improved Care For People With Intellectual Disabilities On The Sunshine Coast

People living with an intellectual disability on the Sunshine Coast will receive improved care following a new Federal Government pilot program being rolled out in the region. Sunshine Coast GPs and other health professionals will be among recipients in four regions that will get greater support to enable them to provide more effective care to people with intellectual disability.

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that the Morrison Government is providing a total of $5.75 million to four Primary Health Networks (PHN), including the Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast PHN, to lead development of the Primary Care Enhancement Program for people with intellectual disability.

“As a former President of the Sunshine Coast Children’s Therapy Centre and a parent I have seen for myself the specialist care and tailored support that people who live with an intellectual disability need at each stage of their lives. With the right support, people living with an intellectual disability can and do make a huge contribution to our community. I am very pleased that the Government is providing these additional resources to local health practitioners to help them provide that support.” Mr Wallace said.

The Primary Care Enhancement Program will give people with intellectual disability better access to appropriate, quality health services that meet their needs. Under the program the Sunshine Coast PHN will:

  • Support health professionals in caring for people with intellectual disability.
  • Facilitate access to appropriate, quality health services for people with intellectual disability.
  • Promote take-up and quality of annual Medicare health assessments for people with intellectual disability.
  • Help to ensure people with intellectual disability have equitable access to quality health prevention and health promotion programs.
  • Ensure all of their programs are inclusive for people with intellectual disability.

“The Sunshine Coast, with the Federal Government’s support, is fast becoming recognised as a pioneer and a leader nationwide across the health sector. With the aid of Federal Government funding, not only do we have the country’s first residential eating disorder treatment facility at endED Butterfly House but we have cutting edge research taking place at the Thompson Institute and a pilot program in eating disorder treatment being managed by the local PHN already. Each of these programs is already leading to new initiatives nationwide and I am sure this latest pilot will be no different.” he said

Central and Eastern Sydney PHN, Western Victoria PHN, and Tasmania PHN were the others also selected to spearhead the enhancement program over four years, with a view to national rollout.

National resources for the program will be developed over the next two years, including a training module for PHN staff, resources for GPs and other primary care professionals, National Disability Insurance Scheme linkage tools, and health promotion materials for people with intellectual disability and their families.

More information about the Government’s national roadmap for health services for people with an intellectual disability is available via