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NDIS Explainer: Healthcare Professionals Helping Australians with Disabilities

August 27, 2020 0 Comments

If you are a healthcare professional interested in working with those on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, read more in this week’s Gorilla Jobs update about what it can mean for you. 

Healthcare Helping Australians with Disabilities 

As a healthcare professional, you might find yourself working in some capacity as a result of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), a landmark government initiative improving outcomes for people living with disabilities

Four years on from when the NDIS was first introduced in 2016, we felt it was time to take a quick look at where the NDIS is at and how its rollout has affected the healthcare profession.

Brief history

Trialled initially as “NDIS Launch” by the Gillard Labor government in 2013, the full scheme was launched in 2016 and has been rolling out ever since. 

Read the full historical NDIS timeline here.

Who is it for?

As the name suggests, the NDIS is a scheme to assist up to 4.3 million Australians living with a disability. 

Its key purpose is to offer those with permanent and significant disabilities to live with as much independence and quality of life as possible, allowing them to take a greater part in their community rather than be excluded because of their disability.

How does it work?

Like many government support schemes, individuals need to apply to the NDIS and meet a range of criteria (you can assess basic eligibility here). 

Once approved, participants then need to create an NDIS plan (for which an entire support industry has sprung up) and once put together, this plan is assessed by the NDIS with funding allocated accordingly.

Nurse giving presciption to elderly woman

How is the rollout going?

When the full scheme began rolling out in 2016, it was hoped the entire country would be covered by 2019-20, which, for extensive areas of Australia, it is, although the NDIS, like any major government scheme, is still in some ways a work in progress.

The NDIS has had some teething problems, leading to a mixed reception from participants. While big improvements have been made around waiting times and coverage, the scheme has come under some criticism from relevant bodies, like the RACGP, which in 2019 pointed out that the reality of those trying to navigate the NDIS did not match the rhetoric of what it was claiming to be doing.

However, on balance, at least so far and given it is still only just four years in, the benefits of the scheme and what it is trying to do for those living with disabilities seem to outweigh the issues that over time will be incrementally resolved.

What does the NDIS mean for healthcare professionals?

People living with disabilities benefit from a wide suite of health-related interventions that both improve quality of life and extend lives sometimes shortened by disability.

While for some this will involve the provision of equipment, devices and even home modifications, for many others on the NDIS, healthcare professionals can be incorporated into plans and engaged with to assist individuals and their specific needs.

Many allied healthcare professionals, such as osteopaths, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, occupational and speech therapists, amongst others, are engaged through NDIS plans to assist.

But given the evolving nature of the programme, over time the NDIS might also eventually include other healthcare professionals to ensure NDIS participants are getting the most tailored assistance possible so they can live their best lives.

Gorilla Jobs recruits for a wide range of healthcare profession roles, including some of those already working with NDIS participants, and looks forward to helping place candidates in organisations where they can offer their services to those on NDIS plans.

If you need help looking for your next healthcare role, reach out to us today.