Thursday, 11 August 2011

Disability Care and Support (Productivity Commission)

The Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a public inquiry into a long-term disability care and support scheme.

Amongst other things, the inquiry examined:

- how a scheme should be designed and funded to better meet the long-term needs of people with disability, their families and carers
- how to determine the people most in need of support, the services that should be available to them, and service delivery arrangements
- the costs, benefits, feasibility and funding options of alternative schemes
- how the scheme will interact with the health, aged care, informal care, income support and injury insurance systems
- its impacts on the workforce
- how any scheme should be introduced and governed
- what protections and safeguards should be part of the scheme.

The Commission has now submitted its final report to Parliament. Key findings include :

* Most families and individuals cannot adequately prepare for the risk and financial impact of significant disability. The costs of lifetime care can be so substantial that the risks and costs need to be pooled.
* The current disability support system is underfunded, unfair, fragmented, and inefficient, and gives people with a disability little choice and no certainty of access to appropriate supports. The stresses on the system are growing, with rising costs for all governments.
* There should be a new national scheme - the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) - that provides insurance cover for all Australians in the event of significant disability. Funding of the scheme should be a core function of government (just like Medicare).

Report

Key points

Media release

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