The Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has tabled its final report for the inquiry into independent assessments, noting six recommendations.
After listening to and hearing 400 submissions over eight public hearings, the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS tabled the report this week, with a warning it would be watching the Government and any replacement independent assessor scheme it implemented.
“The report has six recommendations, geared towards broader matters of financial sustainability, approaches to co-design and consultation, and bulk-billed appointments with medical and allied health professionals,” Committee Chair, Kevin Andrews said.
“Interest in the inquiry from people with disability, advocacy organisations and the allied health sector was significant."
“In addition to over 400 submissions received and eight public hearings held, the committee also looked at the principles of co-design, how functional assessments have been used in other contexts, the tools proposed and whether they were fit-for-purpose, and literature provided by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) concerning assessments around the world.”
“The committee also commissioned the Parliamentary Budget Office to determine how much a new Medical Benefits Schedule item would cost to cover consultations with health and allied health professionals for access and planning purposes.”
Mr. Andrews and the committee welcomed the announcement from NDIS Minister Senator Linda Reynolds that the Government would not go ahead with independent assessments “in their proposed form”.
A committee statement said the Government pledged it would “be taking the time to consult in a meaningful way”.
The committee vowed to keep a close eye on the next steps that the Government and the NDIA take, particularly around co-design and any revised forms of assessments proposed.
The committee thanked all those who contributed to the inquiry by lodging submissions, expressing their views via correspondence and appearing at public hearings. In particular, the committee acknowledges the people with disability, their families and carers who shared their experiences and views.
The testimony of people with disability is crucial to identifying issues with the NDIS and improving the operation of the scheme, Mr. Andrews said.