Disability system transformation supporting CM Health's commitment to improving outcomes for all disabled people

Chief of  Allied Health, Scientific, and Technical Professions, and lead for Counties Manukau Health’s disability strategy, Sanjoy Nand, on Loud Shirt Day 2021. 

A new Ministry for Disabled People will be set up as the government rolls out a different approach to disability support services and brings in a new law to make Aotearoa more accessible.

With the transformation set to begin around July 2022, the planned reforms include:

  • Establishing a Ministry for Disabled People and a separate Accessibility Governance Board
  • A nationwide rollout of the Enabling Good Lives approach to disability support services
  • Introducing Accessibility for New Zealander's legislation to improve access across Aotearoa

"The changes complement the health reform work underway to ensure all New Zealanders, including the disabled community, have equitable access to the care they need, no matter who they are or where they live," says Sanjoy Nand, Chief of  Allied Health, Scientific, and Technical Professions, and lead for Counties Manukau Health’s disability strategy.

The new Ministry for Disabled People is at the heart of these changes, and will join up supports and services, creating a single agency responsible for driving improved overall outcomes for disabled people.

About a quarter of New Zealanders have some type of disability and although disabled people often make use of the health system, constraints placed on disabled people by society extend far beyond health to things like housing, employment, transport, and education.

A new accessibility framework has also been developed to ensure disabled people can participate and access the same opportunities as others, alongside a new accessibility governance board led by disabled people and whaanau.

"It is important that the disabled community's voices are embedded at all levels of decision making," says Sanjoy.

“Counties Manukau Health’s work supporting the care and health needs of people with disabilities remains unchanged, including the focus on improving outcomes and the experiences of disabled people that we provide care to,” he says. “This includes increasing our awareness of the needs of disabled people, continuing to upskill ourselves in caring for disabled people, always including disabled people and their carers in decision making and providing care, communicating effectively, and co-designing facilities and services with disabled people.”

Counties Manukau Health has an action plan to support the work we need to do to achieve equity for disabled people. You can find it here.

You can watch the announcement of the planned disability reforms here.   

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