Monday, 18 February 2019
Statements by Members
National Disability Insurance Scheme
I speak on behalf of Anna, a Melbourne uni masters student, from Endeavour Hills. She's an intelligent and independent woman with another bizarre NDIS experience. She was born with spina bifida and has recently transferred to the NDIS. Her foot was amputated when she was 18 months old. In October, in her planning meeting, she made clear in her plan that she needs a prosthetic foot. That's a whole foot. Unfortunately, the planner ignored or simply didn't understand this and approved a partial foot prosthetic. Now, maybe the planner believed, like DHS, that feet somehow grow back. What was approved would give Anna a few toes but no foot.
She called the call centre, who said that you can tell the planner what you want but it's up to them what you get. Then in her plan she also got a completely inadequate budget for repairs, which is forcing her to choose between repairing her foot or her leg orthotic, which she needs on the other leg to drive. She also asked for a water leg, which is used at pools and beaches, because that's her only form of exercise. The NDIS said: 'No. You can have a support worker for two hours, twice a week, to get you in and out of the pool.' That doesn't exactly support her independence. The NDIS told Anna: 'It's too early for a plan review. You can't have one.' My office raised this and got a weird reply: 'We're very sorry for Anna's experience, which has been less than ideal. She should ask for a plan review, but she could start implementing her current plan.' Well, it still doesn't give her a foot! She found her experience, in her words, demeaning and exasperating. The Liberals must get trained permanent staff and fix their mess. Casual labour hire staff are not going to cut it.