Key updates from NZ Health Survey results 2020/21

The NZ Health Survey 2020/21 results have been released. We take a look at their findings for disabled people.

The following are key findings:

  • There was progress in several domains.
    • Unmet needs in healthcare seems to have reduced for disabled people across several indicators, including:
      • Unmet need for GP due to cost for disabled people reduced from 22% in 2019 to 16% in 2020
      • Unmet need for GP due to lack of transport for disabled people reduced from 11% in 2019 to 8% in 2020.
      • Unmet need for primary healthcare for disabled people reduced from 48% in 2019 to 42% in 2020
    • Smoking cessation has increased among disabled people, from 10% in 2018 to 16% in 2020
    • Disabled people seem to be getting more sleep, with 50% meeting recommendations compared to 47% in 2018.
    • There has been a reduction in disabled people reporting to have poor or fair self-rated health from 44% in 2018 to 41% in 2020.
    • There has been a slight reduction in ED visits for disabled people from 32% in 2018 to 30% in 2020.

  • However, areas of concern do remain.
    • Inequities still persist, with NZHS 2020 results indicating:
      • Disabled people were almost 12 times as likely to have reported their self-rated health as being poor, compared to non-disabled people.
      • Disabled people were seven times as likely to have an unmet need for after-hours due to lack of transport
      • Disabled people were almost five times as likely to suffer from psychological distress
      • Disabled people were almost four times as likely to have an unfilled prescription due to cost
      • 11% of disabled people reported having an unmet need for GP due to COVID-19, compared to 6% of non-disabled people.
    • COVID-19 may have further contributed to a decline in mental wellbeing as well as a decline in health promoting behaviours. This includes:
      • Increase in mood and/or anxiety disorder among disabled people from 35% in 2019, to 40% in 2020.
      • Increase in hazardous drinking among disabled people, from 25% in 2019 to 27% in 2020.
      • Increase in use of e-cigarettes among disabled people, from 5% in 2018 to 9% in 2020.
      • Reduction in disabled people meeting vegetable and fruit intake recommendations, from 30% in 2018 to 26% in 2020.
      • Slight reduction in disabled people meeting physical activity recommendations, from 30% in 2019 to 28% in 2020.

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