What we already know

It is estimated that nearly one out of every four people in South Australia lives with a disability. Across Australia, people with disabilities report having worse health than the rest of the population but there has been very little reporting or publication of data on this topic, and less still specific to South Australia.

The Health Performance Council is conducting a review of matters relating to health outcomes for people with disability, of their experiences with the health system and of interactions between the health and disability sectors. Significant work is underway to gather and analyse insights from data but most importantly, to learn about people’s lived experiences.

In our preliminary work, we have heard various stories about people’s experiences. Even though some feedback was positive, a few limitations were also reported:

  • Hospital services
  • Workforce training opportunities
  • Complaints handling systems
  • Lack of continuity of care at the interface between the mainstream health system and the disability system; especially in relation to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

We have considered your feedback on the draft State Disability Inclusion Plan 2019-2023. We are keeping up to date with the progress on the Disability Royal Commission. However, there are still many gaps in our knowledge. 

There is currently no systematic data collection that allows for sensible reporting on differences in life expectancy or of other quality of life indicators. It is not possible to report on differences in experience or discrimination when engaging with the health system, either. 

Through this project, we expect to report comprehensively and provide advice to the Minister that may result in positive change for people in the state living with disabilities and for their families, friends and carers.

Who is doing this work?

The Health Performance Council is a statutory body which provides expert advice to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing about:

  • The operation of South Australia’s health system,
  • Health outcomes for South Australians, and
  • The effectiveness of community and individual engagement methods.

The Council’s advice focuses on health outcomes not only for the South Australian population as a whole, but also for particular population groups.

All of the Council’s reports are published on the Health and Performance Council website.