PHN details disability barriers to health

PEOPLE with a disability in Gippsland find that getting support is hard and requires navigating a complex system.

A new Priority Issues Paper from Gippsland Primary Health Network on ‘Disability’ has found that people living with disability are the most frequent users of health services, but 70 per cent experience large barriers accessing required services.

Social isolation is especially problematic for people living with a disability who also experience housing and employment concerns, while mental health is the most common co-occurring health issue and often not well serviced.

The Disability paper is one of three released by Gippsland PHN last week; the others are LGBTIQA+ Health and Wellbeing, and Chronic Illness.

The Gippsland Rainbow Brick Road report shows that 67 per cent of LGBTIQA+ people have concerns about their mental health.

The third paper revealed that chronic disease is becoming more common and causes most of the burden of ill health in Australia. In 2022-23, the top five chronic conditions in Gippsland leading to potentially avoidable hospital admissions were related to:

Diabetes complications (1508)

Iron deficiency anaemia (1450)

Congestive heart failure (1049)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1178)

Angina (548)

Gippsland PHN has commissioned a range of early intervention activities and models of care, designed to promote healthy ageing and reduce pressure on local health services. Feedback from participants includes:

People can read the issues papers at https://gphn.org.au/resources/ or can provide feedback to Gippsland PHN at https://gphn.org.au/what-we-do/health-planning-researchand-evaluation/tell-gippsland-phn/