DHB to consider developing disability strategy

DHBs throughout New Zealand have been asked by the Ministry of Health to provide a stocktake of...
DHBs throughout New Zealand have been asked by the Ministry of Health to provide a stocktake of disability services. Photo: Getty Images

The Southern District Health Board is considering a proposal to develop a disability strategy for the region.

Last year, DHBs were asked by the Ministry of Health to provide a stocktake of disability services.

The SDHB commissioners will be asked to go further and endorse developing an entire strategy for disability services.

A proposal to develop the strategy has been submitted to the SDHB by the Donald Beasley Institute, an independent health research organisation based in Dunedin.

The proposal said only a few DHBs had a disability strategy, but it endorsed a 2017-22 strategy jointly issued by Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Capital and Coast Health DHBs as a starting point for developing a Southern plan.

Discussions had already been held with the northern DHBs about their strategy and preliminary approval had been given for Southern to use the work which had gone in to drafting it, the report said.

''The proposal details a work plan beginning with community consultation and concluding with the production of a meaningful disability strategy that clearly articulates what disabled people, family and whanau and support services see as being critical to a respectful and responsive SDHB.''

Approval will be sought for almost $115,000 funding to develop the strategy.

The proposal suggests a 12-month timeline, starting with convening a steering committee.

After reviewing documents such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and New Zealand and DHB strategies and action plans, five regional forums would be held to obtain community input.

A draft would be issued for public consultation early next year. It was expected the strategy would be put in place by May 2019, if approved.

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz

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