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“Time to get it right”: Peak body and sector reacts to NDIS Review announcement

Off the back of the NDIS Review announced today, peak body National Disability Services (NDS) says it’s time to get the NDIS right and overhaul how it works.

CEO Laurie Leigh said market failure must be addressed as the current process leaves holes in the system, particularly when it comes to allied health, people with complex needs or those living rural/remotely.

“It is important that the Review examines the assumption of a market-based approach to service provision,” she said.

“Market failure is currently being seen in remote and rural service provision, services for people with complex needs, allied health, package utilisation, innovation, workforce, insurance coverage, early childhood services, support coordination and employment services.

“Different approaches to service provision can be seen in other complex systems such as health, aged care, childcare and education, and should be examined through this review.

Providers, as the experts in the effective and efficient design and delivery of services, will be a critical part of the consultation and co-designing process.”

Annie Rily, CEO of Carpentaria Disability Services in the NT says servicing remote and very remote Indigenous communities poses its own set of challenges.

“Remote and very remote communities have unique complexities that must be recognised in this Review,” she said.

“These regions require cultural awareness and additional sensitive measures that differ from those required in our metro cities.

“We hope this review will understand this and make the appropriate action to explore more flexible models of funding for remote and very remote areas, where there is market failure.”

CEO of Plan Partners, which provides NDIS plan management and Support Coordination services, Sean Dempsey says underutilisation of plans in remote Australia is a major problem they are working to address.

Covid-19 accentuated this issue and the organisation invested significantly in training and development of their Support Coordination team which now allows them to operate in remote areas, right out to Christmas Island, he says.

The Review will be separated into two parts. Part 1 will cover Design, operation and sustainability of the NDIS and part two on Building a more responsive and supportive market and workforce.

The Independent Review Panel will report to the Disability Reform Ministers and deliver its final report within 12 months by October 2023.

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