Australian Disability Ministers are expected to meet again in July when the focus will be on independent assessments of the national support system.
The newly minted Minister for National Disability Insurance, Linda Reynolds, chaired her first meeting with colleagues from state and territory this week.
Before the meeting, she announced a plan to halt the introduction of independent assessments until the industry was consulted.
David Moody, head of National Disability Services, said the decision was a victory for common sense.
Disability advocates from South Australia and NSW met with Senator Reynolds on Friday as she opened further consultations, which Moody says is a promising start to her tenure.
“We believe the current planning process needs to be changed, but we don’t believe the current independent assessment proposal is the way to make that change happen,” he told AAP.
“We’re certainly not suggesting that the current planning process works as intended.”
According to Moody, there is a concern that people with disabilities cannot rely on evidence from their own doctors when independent reviews are presented.
Questions were also raised about what rights people would have to appeal against decisions made by the independent evaluators.
You would decide how much support people would get for the program, not a participant’s own doctor.
According to Moody, providers’ service guarantees should be regulated by law to ensure that they are paid more quickly for services that have already been provided.
Senator Reynolds said the government hoped for an NDIS that would be fair and equitable with a “consistent and simple evaluation process.”
“We will meet again in July to discuss the results of both the independent evaluation study and my consultations with NDIS participants and stakeholders,” she said.
“I look forward to working with my state and territory colleagues on the important work that lies ahead.”
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