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ABC News: NT disability support services say wait times are rising as demand for allied health grows

little girl about two years old being held by her mother

26/04/2022

Mick Fallon, the NDS Northern Territory Manager, said a shortage of allied health workers meant some clients, both adults and children, had been going without treatment.

Mr Fallon said allied health support was "essential for kids, especially".

Since starting speech and occupational therapy, Harriet's communication skills and vocabulary have improved dramatically.

"Having that support intensely delivered when someone is young will reduce their reliance on the [National Disability Insurance] Scheme and formal supports later in life," he said.

"If it's not there, those kids aren't able to develop the way other kids are able to develop and their reliance on formal supports will increase and potentially be there forever."

Amy Southwood from Carpentaria, a disability service provider, said both wait times for Northern Territory families and the demand for allied health services had "increased quite significantly" in the past few years.

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