State of the disability sector report reveals providers under strain and people failing to get support

Western Australians with complex needs are falling through the cracks as the NDIS fails to provide the specialist care they need, Greens spokesperson for Disability Hon Alison Xamon MLC has said, following the release of National Disability Services’ annual State of the Disability Sector report today.

Hon Xamon said the report echoed her concerns about the impact of thin markets – the inadequate availability of services leading to a failure to meet people’s needs – and the need for a provider of last resort.  

She said people with psychosocial disabilities; people requiring early childhood behaviour intervention; specialist disability accommodation, or specialised support with low demand; as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, were particularly vulnerable.

“The issue of thin markets is particularly concerning in remote and very remote areas, however, we know there are also individuals in the metropolitan area who are unable to access the support they need” Hon Xamon said, “there needs to a clear provider of last resort, including for crisis situations.”   

Ms Xamon said the issue of thin markets was putting families – and the health system – under pressure.

She said it was at odds with the overarching objective of the NDIS, which was to provide reasonable and necessary supports and genuine choice for ALL Australians with a permanent or significant disability.

“The report also worryingly reveals that many disability service providers are under financial stress, with less than half of providers reporting making a profit of 3 per cent or more, and 76 per cent worried that won’t be able to provide services at current prices.” Hon Xamon said.

“It is critical that appropriate measures are put in place to ensure service sustainability and that people receive support irrespective of market gaps.

“Worryingly, today’s report points to the serious risk of market failure of the NDIS in WA, if the situation does not improve.”