Productivity Commission delivers recommendations for a better NDIS
The Productivity Commission has echoed many of the calls of the disability sector in its final report into the Review of NDIS Costs released this morning.
Dr Ken Baker, Chief Executive of disability provider peak National Disability Services (NDS), welcomed the Commission’s recommendations for transparent pricing for services under the NDIS, improved NDIS planning processes for people with disability and addressing the disability workforce shortage.
The Productivity Commission found that poor price setting was hindering the development of a viable supply of disability services that could respond to demand.
“The NDIS cannot deliver on its great promise to people with disability and their families unless there is a strong and sustainable disability services sector,” Dr Baker said.
“Inadequate NDIS prices are forcing disability service providers to consider employing less skilled and experienced staff and lowering their supervision ratios – which risks compromising the quality of supports for people with disability.
“Only with prices that are transparent, based on real evidence, responsive to regional differences and independently set can the promise of the NDIS be delivered.”
Dr Baker said disability service providers would be pleased that the final report retains a focus on the quality of plans, including the need for improved knowledge of disability among planners, a reduction in the use of phone planning and reporting on the quality of plans and number of unexpected plan reviews.
He urged all governments to take on board the Commission’s recommendations and create a balance between participant intake, the quality of plans and participant outcomes.
Dr Baker continued: “The Productivity Commission is doubtful the current NDIS implementation timeline can be met. The integrity of the scheme is more important than the timeline. People with disability, their families and disability service providers fought hard for this scheme. They deserve the NDIS they fought for that delivers choice, high-quality services and plans that reflect their needs and goals.
“The disability services sector welcomes this report and its findings. We are ready to work with the NDIA and governments in the ongoing implementation of the NDIS.”