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Experts question proposed changes to the NDIS

A raft of new legislative changes have been made to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) amid an ongoing senate inquiry into the future of the controversial program.

Griffith University researchers Professor Michele Foster and Associate Professor Kylie Burns are currently investigating the experiences of participants as part of an ongoing study into the sustainability of the scheme.

Professor Foster, who is the research director of the Hopkins Centre at the Menzies Health Institute, believes there are many pros and cons embedded in the new changes.

“Essentially what it means for participants is more complexity, and unfortunately, probably not improving the transparency and accountability,” Foster told Aged Care Insite. 

“What we've heard from participants that we’ve interviewed before is that a lot of the problems in the planning process and the decision making process is that they don’t feel heard.”

Around half a million Australians living with a disability currently access the NDIS.

Associate Professor Burns, who is the deputy head of Griffith’s law school, said that while reforms are notable, it is the implementation of the changes that determine any improvements.

“In a lot of the research we have done recently, if we ask people what improvements they would make, it’s not about what section of the act they would change, it’s about trust.”

“Unfortunately the last twelve months of potential reforms have destroyed a lot of trust in the sector, and this is a big exercise in trust rebuilding.”

Foster and Burns joined Aged Care Insite to discuss the hit and misses of the reforms and what action needs to be taken to improve accountability in the disability sector. 

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