Labor’s commitment to undertake a major review the National Disability Insurance Scheme is an important first step in ensuring the sustainability and operation of one of the country’s most important social support services, Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia, Francis Sullivan said today.
“The $30 billion system which delivers services to more than 500,000 people currently is failing to provide value for money and the best possible services to clients,” Mr Sullivan said.
“The NDIS system is not working the way it should for participants or service providers.” Labor’s proposed review must address some fundamental problems with the scheme including ensuring:
- Disability support staff receive the respect they deserve by the NDIS system, enabling
providers to employ staff permanently rather than casually. The system virtually requires
service providers to employ staff as casuals to avoid making a loss; this outcome is
unacceptable and undervalues the work that care workers do.
- Costs associated with compliance with the NDIA and NDIS Commission must be recognised
in funding arrangements.
- A level playing field is created between registered and unregistered providers, and there are
proper avenues for complaint resolution when unregistered providers fail to provide an
appropriate standard of care.
Mr Sullivan said one of the major concerns for NDIS service providers is the amount of unfunded activities provided to clients to ensure they are being properly supported.
“It is unreasonable and unsustainable for the Government to expect non-government organisations to provide the many services that are unfunded.
“CSSA NDIS service suppliers are running at a loss because funding fails to cover the costs of delivering services to clients.
“This is clearly unsustainable and we are now in a situation where some of CSSA members are reluctantly considering withdrawing from the scheme due to significant operating losses,” Mr Sullivan said.
With thanks to Catholic Social Services Australia.