Disabled to benefit most from MLs

MEDICARE Locals will give severely disabled people better access to health services, AGPN chair Dr Emil Djakic has claimed following a report showing disabled patients are up to 10 times more likely to need GP services than non-disabled people.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, released last week, indicated that those with severe disability relied more heavily on health services, such as GPs, than non-disabled people.

This was because the severely disabled were more likely to have multiple long-term health conditions, both mental and physical.

The report said the severely disabled were 3.5 times as likely to consult a specialist doctor as non-disabled people and five times as likely to consult both a specialist doctor and other health professionals.

Those with severe disability were also 2.5 times as likely to access health services for mental health problems and twice as likely to visit health professionals, including