Friday, June 7, 2013

Preventing disability - let's start before conception

Not for one minute do I suggest that Australia’s proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) should not go ahead. However, what I would dearly love to see, is some of the allocated funds go towards prevention! 

Yes, I’m on my soapbox again but am asking the question ... What would it take for every child-bearing individual in this country to be made intimately aware of the effects of their own actions, in the time before they conceive, on the health of their future children? Young people (teenagers in particular) have a strong sense of being bullet proof. What would it take to mount a public education campaign to educate them otherwise? We do it around the impact of smoking, drinking and drug-taking on teenagers' health. But we also need to instill in them the knowledge that they hold the physical and mental health of the next generation in the health of their own eggs and sperm? We must show them that a child who suffers a disability from birth is not simply the bad luck of the draw, but something over which prospective parents exercise a very large degree of control. 

I’d personally feel a lot happier about my increased Medicare levy - about $1/day it seems - funding some prevention along with the ongoing support for the current disabled population.

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