Leaders call for planning changes

The hasty roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme has put its success and financial sustainability at risk, the Productivity Commission has found.

The hasty roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme has put its success and financial sustainability at risk, the Productivity Commission has found.

The hasty roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme has put its success and financial sustainability at risk, the Productivity Commission has found. 

The position paper, released on Wednesday, comes as the region’s disability advocates warn rushed planning is short-changing the scheme’s participants and putting targets ahead of individual needs. 

Grampians Disability Advocacy chief executive Debbie Verdon said dissatisfaction with the planning process was “colouring” participants’ perception of how the scheme could help them.

Ms Verdon has previously raised concerns people with severe mental illness and intellectual disabilities were unable to meet with planners face-to-face to determine their level of care.

Her concern has been backed by the position paper, which said the speed of the roll-out had “manifest in poor outcomes such as confusion … (and) inadequate planning support.”

“What we’re finding is there’s a lot of internal review requests coming forward now and there’s going to be a lot more in the future unless this method of dealing with people is improved,” she said. “I’m sure once these teething problems are worked through it will be a great thing for a large number of people and it is already – but the system needs to be improved.”

The commission also found NDIS costs were “broadly on track” with the National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) long-term modelling. 

“The NDIA must find a better balance between participant intake, the quality of plans, participant outcomes, and financial sustainability,” the paper said.

The paper also said the scheme’s success was also the responsibility of governments, participants, families and carers, providers, and the community. 

NDIA chief executive David Bowen said the agency recognised “much needs to be done to improve the planning process for participants”.

NDIA has also commissioned McKinsey and Company to undertake an independent price review. 

The NDIA will consider other draft findings of the Productivity Commission and respond by July 12, Mr Bowen said. 

Grampians Disability Advocacy can assist with appeals to NDIS decisions; phone 1800 552 272 or search Grampians Disability Advocacy on Facebook. 

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