AMA submission to Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Inquiry into transitional arrangements for the NDIS

27 Jul 2017

The AMA has made a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Diasability Insurance Scheme's inquiry into Transitional arrangements for the NDIS.  In its submission, the AMA notes the following: 

1.  Although there is $80 million promised in the Budget for psychosocial services for those with mental illness who do not qualify for the NDIS, there is still workforce insecurity and uncertainty, and a paucity of information about what future funding guarantees are in place.

2.  Feedback from AMA members indicates that the boundaries and interface between NDIS service provision and other non-NDIS service provision is problematic, and the right balance between traditional medical mental health treatment and psychosocial supports for both those eligible for NDIS and those not eligible must be addressed as a priority.  

3.  Transport for people with mobility problems is vital.  For people on NDIS packages living in regional and remote areas, alternative transport measures should be provided above and beyond the assessed NDIS package as the NDIS funding does not cover the full cost of accessing transport.  As transport costs can be prohibitive, it acts as both a barrier and disincentive to participation and interaction with the wider community.

4.  The AMA has previously called on Government to extend the MBS video consultation items to GP consultations for people with mobility problems, remote Indigenous Australians, aged care residents, and rural people who live some distance from GPs.  This will considerably improve access to medical care for these groups and improve health outcomes.

5.  Transition arrangements to the NDIS must address the social determinants that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, especially housing.  Unless these are included in the transition to the NDIS, then the chronic health problems will continue and the ‘gap’ in health outcomes will not close.