A week out from the Federal Budget, Australia’s disability service providers today warned that many are at risk of failure unless the government acts to fix ongoing problems with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
NDS President, Joan McKenna-Kerr, said providers were launching a paid media campaign in the lead-up to Federal Budget to call on the government and opposition to deliver on their bipartisan promise to make the NDIS a great social reform.
Ms McKenna-Kerr warned that many not-for-profit disability service providers are already being forced to cut services as a direct result of systemic flaws in the way the NDIS is being implemented.
“In particular, we are finding providers reluctantly withdrawing one-on-one care services because the delivery models are just not viable,” she said.
“This is leaving those participants in the scheme with the most profound challenges, finding it harder to find the care they need.”
Providers are calling for a new independent pricing body, urgent improvements to the way the NDIS is administered and a National Workforce Strategy to support the sector in delivering the scheme.
NDS Acting CEO, David Moody, warned that if the sector experiences market failure, the NDIS could collapse, leaving almost half a million Australians with disability without services.
According to research conducted by NDS:
- 1 in 10 disability service providers have discussed closing
- 28% of service providers made a loss or deficit; and
- more than half (54%) of Australian disability providers say they will have to reduce the quality of services under the current pricing model.
“Our members helped lead the campaign for the NDIS and we continue to support it 100 per cent as a vital reform for Australians with disability,” Mr Moody said.
“However as a direct result of the way the NDIS is being administered, more than half of our members have foreshadowed they will reduce the quality of services unless NDIS pricing better reflects the cost of actually delivering services.”
Mr Moody said next week’s budget, which is projected to deliver a surplus, offers the opportunity to address the systemic issues the scheme is facing.
“We need to nip these issues in the bud before providers collapse and the people who rely on the Scheme are left without the support they need.”
For more on the NDS campaign to Deliver the Promise of the NDIS, go to: www.deliverthepromise.org.au