National disability insurance scheme will change lives

National disability insurance scheme will change lives

UnitingCare Australia’s National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds said if implemented, the recommendations in the Productivity Commission’s draft report on disability care and support will change lives.

Speaking shortly after the report’s release today, Ms Hatfield Dodds, said up until now funding, and therefore care arrangements, have been an inadequately funded, poorly targeted bag of ad hoc arrangements that have focussed more on available services than the needs of individuals.

“The draft report represents a very welcome paradigm shift,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.

“It calls for current funding to be doubled. It urges a move to a national approach and recommends that more money be directed to where people living with disabilities and their families say it can be best used.

“Central to the report’s recommendations is a national disability insurance scheme which will ensure that every Australian with a severe or profound disability can access a range of essential services regardless of how they acquired their disability or where they live.

“A national, independent, sustainably funded scheme will give people living with disabilities and their families confidence that they will get the care they need for as long as they need it.

“It’s also encouraging to see consideration of how aged and disability sectors will intersect and align, so that people drive what support they get and from where in the service system.

“We welcome the draft report, but more work needs to be done to ensure services have the flexibility to genuinely respond to the aspirations and expectations of people living with disability and their families.

“And we need to ensure competitive pay arrangements ensure a skilled workforce is available to meet expectations of service users and their families.

“We look forward to working with the Productivity Commission in the lead up to the final report to nut out some of the outstanding issues,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.

The UnitingCare network provides care to over 2 million people each year through 1,300 sites in remote, regional and metropolitan communities.

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