Good health and wellbeing are essential for people with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) to live well and contribute to their communities. Yet many face barriers to good health and in accessing health care.
To better support the health of people with IDD and ensure they have equal access to health care, we recommend:
- A New Brunswick Health Equality Framework for people with IDD
- Health screening guidelines specifically for people with IDD
- A policy to provide free annual health checks for people with IDD
- Nutrition and physical health promotion programs for people with IDD
- Billing codes allowing primary care providers to devote more time to patients with IDD to ensure sufficient time for appointments
- A long-term strategy on guidelines for physicians and other health care professionals to provide inclusive health care services to people with IDD
- Strategies and tools to enhance understanding and communication for people with IDD in the health care system
- Strategies to provide coordinated health care responses to people with IDD and support to navigate complex health care systems
- Address barriers to sharing medical information with family members or caregivers and to supporting adults with IDD to be engaged in decisions regarding their health care
- Continue to identify and implement strategies for enhancing access to mental health support for people with IDD
- Apply the lens (and corresponding strategies) for improving the care and service experience of seniors and adults with a disability under age 65. Adopt a “Home First” policy for adults with a disability under age 65.
- Address the unique needs of seniors with IDD, and in particular those who experience increased frailty
- Ensure support is available and accessible to people with IDD for digital technologies related to health care and provide in-person options when necessary
- Professional learning and development opportunities for health care professionals
- An advisory group of New Brunswick health experts in IDD health practices
More detailed information can be found in NBACL’s response brief. Some of these recommendations can be completed relatively easily within a shorter timeframe, while others will require more extensive planning and development. NBACL is willing to be a full and active partner in any processes related to these recommendations.