Group 3

COAG fixes gaps between Health and NDIS

[lead]People with disability in hospital and aged care now able to move home with support from the NDIS.[/lead]

The Summer Foundation welcomes the decisions made on Friday by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Disability Reform Council for the NDIS to fund a range of disability-related health supports.

This means that the NDIS will now fund essential supports that were previously falling between the cracks of the NDIS and Health system interface.

When these supports were not being funded by the NDIS or health systems, people with disability were stuck in hospital and aged care as the only locations where these supports could be accessed.

The change will deliver a significant difference to the lives of NDIS participants with complex health and disability support needs. It will enable many younger people stuck in aged care or hospitals to return back to their communities.

The Council decided that the NDIS will fund disability-related health supports where the supports result from the NDIS participant’s disability and are a regular part of their daily life. Some examples include respiratory and continence supports, supports to manage epilepsy, pressure wounds, swallowing difficulties, and podiatry.

The Council also agreed to a Hospital Discharge Delay Action Plan that will address NDIS-related issues to promote timely discharge of NDIS participants from public hospitals. People with disabilities who are stuck in hospital are at risk of being forced into aged care facilities because of the lack of timely housing and support options.

The Summer Foundation’s CEO, Luke Bo’sher, commended the Council and the NDIA for these decisions.

“The decision to fund disability-related health supports under the NDIS will go a long way towards addressing major gaps that people with high and complex disabilities are experiencing when trying to access essential supports,” Mr Bo’sher said. “This will enable many more people to maintain their health and live in the community.

“We know that 50 young people with disabilities are admitted into aged care every week. These improvements to the NDIS will help people with disabilities to avoid being forced into aged care facilities because their disability-related health needs will finally be addressed by the NDIS.”

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