Government Releases Full Disability Report
8 December 2009 at 12:05 pm
The report called The Way Forward: A new disability policy framework for Australia, outlines the drawbacks of the current system given that the number of people with a severe or profound disability is predicted to rise to 2.3 million by 2030.
The Government has already responded to the report’s primary recommendation, announcing recently that the Productivity Commission will undertake a comprehensive feasibility study into a national disability insurance scheme.
The Productivity Commission will investigate the feasibility of new approaches, including a social insurance model, for funding and delivering long-term disability care and support for people with severe or profound disabilities however they are acquired.
This will include detailed modelling and analysis to determine if a long-term disability care and support scheme would be appropriate, practical, economically responsible and whether it would fit with Australia’s health, aged care, income support and injury insurance systems.
The Government has also announced the appointment of John Walsh as a part-time Associate Commissioner to the Productivity Commission inquiry. Mr Walsh was instrumental in the development of the Australian Registry of Spinal Cord Injury and is a board member of the NSW Motor Accidents Authority and the NSW Home Care Service.
The Government and the Productivity Commission will also be advised by an independent panel of seven people who bring considerable experience across the disability sector, including Chair of Yooralla Bruce Bonyhady, Chair of the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council Rhonda Galbally, and Australian Medical Association President Andrew Pesce.
The Productivity Commission will report to the Government in July 2011.
The Disability Investment Group was established by Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities Bill Shorten last year to provide advice on ways to explore funding ideas from the private sector to help people with disabilities and their families access greater support and plan for the future.
The report also makes recommendations on employment, housing and research. It says the current system is under considerable stress and marginal change or add-on services will only lock in models that will continue to fail to meet the needs of people with disability, their families and carers.
It says traditional program responses can do little to ease the pressure of rising costs of services to government and they do not provide value for money in improved outcomes for clients.
As well as the recommendation for a national Disability Insurance Scheme, the report says a new welfare model of disability services should include a strong income support system that facilitates people with disability who cannot support themselves through work, to live in dignity and a range of measure to enable increased private contributions.
The report of the Disability Investment Group can be found www.fahcsia.gov.au