The Productivity Commission is the Australian Government's independent research and advisory body on a range of economic, social and environmental issues affecting the welfare of Australians.
Public Inquiry into Disability Care and Support
The Productivity Commission’s final report on Disability Care and Support was released in August 2011.
The Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a public inquiry into a long-term disability care and support scheme.
Among 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; and
- what protections and safeguards should be part of the scheme.
Main recommendations of the draft report
In its draft report on Disability Care and Support, the Productivity Commission recommended two insurance schemes:
- National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS); and
- National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS).
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) would be a scheme run by the Australian Government that would provide insurance cover for all Australians in the event of significant disability. The NDIS would fund long-term high quality care and support (but not income replacement). Around 410,000 people would receive funding through the scheme.
The NDIS would be consumer choice driven. Based on their needs assessment and their individualised support package, individuals would be able to choose their service providers (or do so with the support of an organisation on their behalf) or, in some cases, cash out their funding allocation.
The National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS) would be a no-fault scheme providing fully-funded lifetime care and support for all cases of catastrophic injury, including major brain or spinal cord injuries. The scheme would comprise of a federation of individual state and territory schemes and would draw on the best schemes currently operating around Australia. State and territory governments would be the major driver of this national reform
Consideration of the Productivity Commission’s recommendations
The ACT Government is represented on the Select Council of Treasurers and Disability Services Ministers on Disability Reform, responsible for overseeing the development of an NDIS.
Consideration of an NIIS is underway through a separate process led by the Commonwealth Assistant Treasurer through the Ministerial Council on Federal Financial Relations. Heads
Each process has established an Advisory Group.
Transforming an entire system is a big job. Input from people with disability, carers and advocates is expected be sought as an NDIS is progressed.
As engagement opportunities become available these will be posted on the official NDIS website.