System changes to enable optimal health outcomes for people with disability

This report is a discussion paper produced from the CRE-DH Policy Forum held 15-16 September 2022.


In September 2022, the Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health (CRE-DH) held a virtual policy forum that enabled discussion between the health and disability sectors in Australia. The forum aimed to understand the challenges and opportunities for cross-sectoral collaboration presented by the pandemic and in ‘business as usual’ for people with disability.

The event was attended by senior personnel from Commonwealth Government departments, Disability Representative Organisations, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Discussions were structured around the two following questions:

  1. How can health care systems be designed so that people with disability receive the support they need to achieve health on an equal basis to others? 
  2. How can health, disability and related service systems work together to help achieve optimal health outcomes for people with disability? 

This report summarises the discussion from the forum workshops. We present 12 issues and several solutions which form the basis for 12 recommendations for reform that should be considered. 

The opportunities for disability reforms are grouped under three categories: whole-of-government, health system, and cross-sectoral disability and health systems. These are summarised in the table below.

This report and its recommendations offer guidance for the Commonwealth government and agencies to move forward to improve health of people with disability.

Please access the full report to read the major issues identified in the workshops and the rationale for each recommendation.