Press Release

Minister O’Malley Addresses Health and Intellectual Disability National Symposium

Mr Tim O’Malley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, today (Thursday, 24th November 2005), addressed the Health and Intellectual Disability National Symposium in the Heritage Hotel, Killenard, Portarlington, Co. Laois.

The symposium is attempting to profile best practice guidelines in a number of areas that impact on the general health of people with disabilities. It will be of particular interest to nursing staff, physiotherapists, dieticians, PE instructors, and a broad range of people both in direct care and in management. Integrating the contribution of a broad range of disciplines within the context of local primary care teams is a theme which will also run through many of the presentations.

Minister O’Malley said that the concept of health can mean different things to different people, at different times in their lives and also stated that a “definition of health, if it is to be inclusive, must acknowledge that a combination of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual social and environmental factors determines one state of health.”

The Minister further said that a “holistic view of health is productive for people with disabilities as it focuses on abilities, views and experiences rather than on the limitations of their disability.”

Minister O’Malley said that it was “no longer acceptable that individuals are expected to fit into the ‘system’. The ‘system’ must change if it is to truly respond and meet the needs of those who require its support.”