Disabilities Insurance Scheme in Australia

Many people are faced with the situation of caring for a disabled person. Some parents will not surrender their child to an institution while they continue to do the work of looking after them at home. The trouble is they grow older and the burden is heavy. When a paraplegic, quadriplegic, or someone suffering from birth ailments, like spinal bifida, or some other debilitating disease what can one do?

Young children are also caught in the mix as a parent, which may be a sole parent, contracts something like multiple sclerosis, or cancer. These patients are left at home and the eldest child looks after them. In some featured stories on the media this puts them at a great disadvantage with schooling and living a normal kid’s life.

There are many problems related to disability, such as respite care, provision of special transport, travelling distances, and the need for support equipment that it would take more than this page to list them all. In another featured story of a man requiring a hoist to lift him from the bed for washing and hygiene purposes.

With full credit to the Gillard government in Australia a scheme was set up called the Disabilities Insurance Scheme (DIS) to come into effect at the start of 2016. Since then there has been a change of government and 2 different Prime Ministers. Under the Abbott government, which was the next to take office, the scheme was considered too expensive and was put on hold to start in 2017, after a lot of protests.

The next Prime Minister, Turnbull, has now suggested that the Medicare levy be raise by 0.5 % to pay for it. It is currently in operation but discriminatory in its effect. To get onto it one has to virtually jump through hoops with lots of interviews, medical certificates, and other things to even be considered. The wait for acceptance is a long one.

This scheme is desperately needed to fund the requirements of so many who are in the situation where the alternative is a government-funded institution, which would cost the taxpayer a lot more under the Medicare Scheme already operating. Keeping people in their own home is the new approach to medical problems and aging. It is also preferable for the disabled who are less likely to take to out-of-home care. It just needs the right approach.

While the government is about to spend $120 million on a postal vote about gay marriage, a matter that should be handled by the parliament, the fact that it is crying poor regarding the NDIS is pathetic. They need to just get on with it and give a lot of people some essential respite.

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