Service providers are beginning to raise concerns over meeting demands of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with the rollout of the scheme ongoing.
National Disability Services (NDS), Australia's peak body for non-government disability service organisations released the State of the Disability Sector Report 2017 this week, presenting a number of key findings.
The report which tables experiences from over 500 organisations nationwide reflects a sector that’s ‘under pressure’ with the shifting environment.
It was found that two-thirds of service providers who contributed to the 2017 Annual Market Survey, used as the bases of the report, were worried about providing services at NDIS prices.
Organisations are required to provide supports at a capped price for participants under the the national scheme.
Growth in demand was also an issue with about 60 percent of respondents unsure over their ability to adjust to changes resulting from the NDIS.
About 74 percent of respondents reportedly say the government is not anticipating or responding to the needs of organisations, and 67 percent disagreed that the NDIA is working well with providers.
The release of the report comes after Minister for Social Services Christian Porter announced the introduction of the ‘NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’ in late November that will monitor disability supports.
Mr Porter welcomes the establishment of the Commission and says it is “an important milestone” in the implementation of the NDIS.
“The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission will play a crucial role on behalf of NDIS participants as an overseer of the quality and safety of services and supports they are accessing through the NDIS,” he says.
“The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission will also regulate NDIS providers and investigate and determine complaints and uphold the rights of people living with disability.”
The Commission was announced in the 2017-18 Budget with an initial allocation of $209 million over four years.
It will mean service providers will need to meet certain standards if they wish to offer supports to NDIS participants.
This may put organisations at risk with one in 10 saying they are considering getting out of the sector, according the the State of the Disability Sector Report.
Until the Commission’s comes into effect in 2018, people with disability receiving NDIS supports and services will be protected by the existing state and territory quality and safeguards systems.