Marking a major milestone for equitable care, the collaborative Canterbury and the West Coast Health Disability Action Plan was launched in July 2016. It is an action plan, and so the launch is only the beginning.
The aim of the Plan is to ensure people who experience disability in across the Transalpine area have the health services they need and are included in decisions about their health care.
This ten year Plan is the product of more than a year of consultation with Disabled Person's Organisations (DPOs) to define priorities for the first two years and map our way forward for the next eight.
It's a work in progress, as it needs to remain responsive to people's changing needs. Consultation too is ongoing and one of the most important actions for the coming year is to invite input from the wider community, particularly those with a disability who aren't represented through a DPO.
The Canterbury and West Coast Health Disability Action Plan was launched on 12 July 2016 at the Halswell Centre and Grey Base Hospital. Canterbury and the West Coast were connected in two simultaneous celebrations on either side of the Southern Alps by a live telehealth link.
There were invitees from health, the disabled community, and our own consumer councils and Boards as well as local MPs Ruth Dyson and Poto Williams for the Christchurch event. The Minister for Disability Issues, Nicky Wagner and SmileDial's Kelly Dugan were guest speakers in Christchurch, with the event brought to life by the performance talents of Star Jam. The 'Jammers" are a non-profit organisation that empowers young New Zealanders with disabilities to achieve their full potential through music and performance workshops.
The video is in three parts and features people or families talking about their experiences and what they want from their health system.
The video opens with retired Greymouth school teacher Margaret Woollett – remember, this is a TransAlpine action plan that aims to support disabled people and their family/whānau on both the West Coast and in Canterbury.The second part features the Andrell family of Burwood (who are here with us at the launch).
The final part of the video features Disability Support Advisory Committee member Ben Lucas who is the chef de mission for the upcoming Rio Paralympics and who provided input on the redevelopment of Burwood Hospital.
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