Bruce Bonyhady: The What? Why? Who? And Market Opportunities of the NDIS – NDIS

April 17, 2016

Extract from a speech delivered on the 15th April 2016

I’m an economist.

It’s one of those professions everyone knows about, but few really understand.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme or NDIS is a bit like economics.

We all have opinions about it, but how many of us really understand it?

We know the NDIS is the most significant economic and social reform since the introduction of the original Medicare scheme in the 1970s and compulsory superannuation in the 1980s.

We know it will make our country more prosperous and ensure opportunity is more equitable and accessible.

The NDIS is the kind of smart, innovative, agile policy that Australia needs to address the challenges of the 21st century.

It’s a platform for innovation that harnesses the power of markets to serve people with disability – and boost the economy.

With that in mind, I want to brief you on the key features and facts of the NDIS.

And the best way for me to do that is to answer the questions I am most frequently asked:

What is the NDIS?

Why do we need it?

What will it cost?

And who benefits?

I will then explain the market and business opportunities that the NDIS will create – opportunities which I hope will excite you sufficiently to participate in the new marketplace for disability services in Australia.

Let me start with the first question.

What is the NDIS?
The NDIS was established on 1 July 2013.

Currently, the Scheme is in nine trial sites and has more than 22,000 participants – including nearly 5,000 participants here in Victoria.

It is on time and on budget – and client satisfaction is above 90 per cent.

In other words, we’re exactly where we need to be.

One of the three key goals in the Strategic Plan of the National Disability Insurance Agency is to keep building public confidence in the Scheme.

That means continuing to meet goals, and maintaining and building a performance culture within the Agency.

In short, performance is everything.

That’s the lesson I’ve learned over many years working in business – because organisations that performandmaintain and build trust earn the right to grow.

At the NDIA we monitor our performance continuously and publish our results quarterly.

For the Scheme, though, there is more to performance than just quarterly targets.

We must also keep learning as we build the Scheme so that it performs over the lifetime of each and every participant, because the real impact of the NDIS will be measured in generations.

The Scheme’s trial period is scheduled to end in the middle of this year.

When it is fully operational, in 2019, the Scheme will serve around 460,000 participants across Australia, including 105,000 in Victoria.

All NDIS participants receive the funds needed to purchase ‘reasonable and necessary’ supports.

Those benefits encompass personal care and support, access to the community, therapy services and essential equipment.

NDIS participants include people with intellectual, physical, sensory and psychosocial disabilities.

There are also early intervention services for children with significant developmental delay and manifest disabilities, and adults with progressive disabling conditions.

Each participant has a plan and goals which focus on maximising independence and social and economic participation.

The NDIS is designed to work alongside the Disability Support Pension and other measures, which provide income replacement for people with disability who cannot work.

However, unlike the DSP, the NDIS is not means-tested.

The Scheme is also designed to work side-by-side with health, education and other public services, which have universal service obligations to all Australians, including those with disability.

We are therefore working in close partnerships with the health, education, transport, housing, justice and aged care sectors.

At the same time, shifting of costs from these sectors onto the NDIS and “gaps” between these systems and the NDIS are two of the risks that the Agency is monitoring and managing on a daily basis.

Needless to say, there are a number of risks associated with a reform as complex as the NDIS – such is the nature of nation building schemes.

The Board is well aware of the risks and has a comprehensive risk management strategy in place.

The Agency has also voluntarily adopted the risk management standard applied to insurers by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

With the Scheme achieving all of its key performance targets, it is clear that our risk management systems are working very effectively.

Once the NDIS is in place, every Australian who is born with or acquires a disability before the age of 65 – and whose disability is permanent and significantly affects their functional capacity and who requires ongoing support – will be covered.

In short, the NDIS is a universal insurance scheme.

It is based on insurance principles…(continues)

SOURCE: Bruce Bonyhady, “The What? Why? Who? And Market Opportunities of the NDIS”, NDIS, 15 April 2016




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