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Sky News: NDS President says NDIS red tape is putting services at risk

Joan McKenna Kerr in Sky News interview

In a Sky News interview, NDS President Joan McKenna-Kerr says that a great number of providers are now at risk due to NDIA funding policy and unnecessary red tape.

Joan details specific blockages with the NDIS payment portal, issues with individual plans, and service providers remaining in the dark on service reviews.

Joan says the system is a ‘very, very bureaucratic system’, and that communities with disability that are trying to access the NDIS are often more excluded than others.

She says that the most important thing missing from the NDIS as it stands, is a promise that it began with: To support “those individuals with highly-complex needs, and people who require individual support.”

“The pricing is not covering costs,” she says, “and at the moment, service providers are running at a loss.”

Joan says that the cases of many service providers at the moment are very concerning, with NDS data showing that one in 10 considered stopping services in the last financial year.

“There has been a major transformation of a sector with absolutely no funding to assist that sector to transform,” says Joan.

“You have service providers who have gone from receiving funds in advance, to having to cash-flow service on behalf of government and claiming later. They need resources in terms of staff training, they need resources in terms of the IT systems to talk to the NDIS portal, and there’s a whole level of infrastructure needed in organisations that hasn’t been funded.”

Following on from next week’s Budget, Joan says the NDIA needs to stay focused on issues on the ground. “We need the NDIA to come to the table and look at the true cost of service provision, and [get] and understanding of the operational issues in terms of delivering disability services.”

Find the full interview here.