Sunday, 28 February 2010
Landmark Move for People with Disabilities
Kelly Vincent welcomed today’s release of the Productivity Commission’s draft report into a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The Commission has recommended the Federal Government establish an NDIS – a scheme which would guarantee people with disabilities access to services like care, equipment, accommodation and carer support.
“This is a landmark decision,” said Ms Vincent. “There are so many people with unmet needs in our community and this draft report is a positive step toward improving their lives immeasurably.”
“I strongly support this recommendation, but there are some details in the report which are causes for concern. The Commission’s decision to recommend an extra scheme, the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS), alongside an NDIS is worrying.”
According to the Productivity Commission’s report the NIIS would cater for people who acquire a disability through a workplace accident or catastrophic injury.
“Under two schemes there is no guarantee that individuals with the same level of need will receive the same services. If this recommendation were adopted someone who acquires quadriplegia through a workplace accident may get less or more support than someone born with quadriplegia,” said Ms Vincent
“This is unfair and perpetuates the silo mentality which lets so many service users down.”
“I am also concerned that the Commission’s vision for an NDIS excludes people with mental health issues who could be desperately in need of help.”
The Commission estimates the cost of an NDIS to be $6.3 billion per year on top of funds already put towards disability services. The recommendations state this money should be provided by the Federal Government through General Revenue.
“I support funding through general revenue as I believe it will make for a truly nationalised system and also make the NDIS more attractive to the community. Public support is vital to make this recommendation a reality,” said Ms Vincent.
The money will be used to assess individual’s needs and offer them a tailored care package or the option to spend the resources on services of their choosing.
“The in-built guarantee of individual choice is essential to building a successful NDIS,” said Ms Vincent. “People know themselves better than anyone else. Autonomy is core.”
“I am pleased the Commission has been progressive enough to offer this element of choice. I am also delighted they have recommended services be offered to informal carers, who are hugely important in the disability community.”
“Furthermore, I would like to congratulate the Commission on recommending the Federal Government provide extra funding to relieve current unmet needs while a NDIS is being established. This is an important recognition of the thousands of Australians in urgent need of help now.”
The Productivity Commission is asking for feedback on the draft report and recommends the NDIS begin rollout in early 2014.
OTHER STAKEHOLDERS’ COMMENTS ON THE REPORT
Max Dyason–Chief Executive of Bedford
“We think the report is very encouraging. It talks about providing the same services and more opportunities, that can’t be bad.
“It talks about choice and power for people with disability, a very good thing. Services will be encouraged into service excellence and innovation with payments from Governments based onlyon outcomes.
“There’s a lot of fine print to go through but anyreform that provides choice, portability and puts people with disability ‘in the driver’s seat’ has to be good, so we’rehoping our Governments will adopt its recommendations.”
Philip Bedell – Physical Disabilities Council of SA
“Anything that alleviates the unmet need is well supported. We’d be supportive of a transitional funding arrangement while the NDIS is put in place. We’d also be very supportive of community education around the scheme.”