Of late there have been a number of critical reports about progress in terms of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). I wrote about some of these issues in a piece for the Conversation recently arguing that we might expect to see some challenges in the process of such a large scale reform.
Over the last few weeks there have been even more calls for the NDIS to make changes in order that it get back on trajectory. National Disability Services – Australia’s peak body for disability provider services – released a paper called “How to get the NDIS on track” which details recommendations on the way forward for the NDIS.
While agreeing with the overall direction of travel the paper argues that the current reforms are placing pressure on a number of stakeholders and in particular service providers. The paper makes a number of proposals about what can be done to improve the current system. Many of these, perhaps unsurprisingly given the nature of this organisation, relate to pricing and the involvement of providers in care processes. Others relate to the improvement of participant planning – which is a key point that we will report at the launch of our research into consumer experiences of the NDIS in a few weeks time (you can book a ticket to this event here).
You can hear me commenting on the report and the progress of the NDIS on the Wire in a piece on the NDS report and disability advocate responses to this.
This week Every Australian Counts – the original campaign for the NDIS and an organisation now committed to sharing information and views on the scheme – released a ‘report card‘ based on feedback from more than 2,100 supporters. Although many are positive about the NDIS and the impact that this has had on disability services, there are a number of concerns particularly in relation to planning processes and the types of information available.
A particular challenge for the NDIS will be the observation that ‘people waiting for the NDIS are more likely to say that they NDIS is not living up to expectations, than people who are actually in the NDIS’. This is also an issue that the National Health Service in England faces, where patients typically report higher levels of satisfaction than those in the general population. This has led to continual challenges for these services and something that the NDIS will need to be mindful of given the likely political battles ahead.