Healthcare of disabled people during the 2020 lockdown

The Health Quality and Safety Commission has released more data on healthcare experience of disabled people during the 2020 lockdown

 A summary of their key findings include:

  • Disabled people who responded to the survey were more likely to live in areas of high deprivation and to have one or more long-term health conditions.
  • Māori were more likely to be disabled than non-Māori.
  • Disabled people were more likely than non-disabled people to report that they were not able to access health care during lockdown as they usually would have. For example, compared with people who were not disabled, disabled people were more likely to say they usually would have gone to their GP but didn’t because of lockdown.
  • Reasons why disabled people did not access health care as usual during lockdown included alert level restrictions, thinking their health concern wasn’t urgent enough and worry about catching COVID-19.
  • Disabled people were more likely than non-disabled people to use virtual (phone or video) appointments during lockdown.
  • Only around half of the disabled people in the survey said they got to see their doctor on the same day or the next working day, although this varied depending on where they lived in New Zealand. This means some people could have been seen and treated sooner, which may have affected their care.
  • Disabled people surveyed were more likely than other people to say that their individual needs and/or cultural needs were not met during their most recent appointment.
  • Picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy became more difficult for disabled people during lockdown (although getting prescriptions from their doctor was easier or ‘about the same’ as before). Here are some reasons why:
    • Social distancing put some people off.
    • Some didn’t want to travel due to fears of catching COVID-19. 
    • Medicines were only available in one-month supply, compared with the usual three-month supply.
  • Despite being more likely to have a regular GP, during the lockdown disabled patients generally reported having a worse experience with their GP.

Find out more in this Word document from the Health Quality and Safety Commission :

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