Over 4 million people have some form of disability. That’s 1 in 5 people.
The disability rate in Australia has remained fairly stable, with 18.5% of people
reporting disability in 2012 and 18.3% in 2015. However, the disability community is
more than just numbers, as Australia continues to strive towards the support and
inclusivity of these people.
We often automatically associate disabilities as physical but they can also be mental
conditions that limit a person’s sensory or mobility functions. Whether it’s an accident
or genetic, there are a range of causes and types of disabilities that are equally
considered and cared for.
The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) recognises Australians under the
age of 65 with a significant and permanent disability, and provides reasonable
funding and necessary support to ensure they sustain an ordinary life; this means
around 1 in 8 people. This is established to be a successful system however, there is
always room for improvement and the United Kingdom’s market is an interesting
case, as their social care experience is a great example of the different strategies
that can be developed.
In January 2019, the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK launched a long term
personalised care model to enhance people’s choice and control over their mental
and physical health. This approach of ‘personalised care’ will cater to people’s
individual strengths and needs as no disability is the same. The goal is to benefit up
to 2.5 million people by 2024.
Dr Shereen Hussein, principal research fellow at King’s College London, spoke to
Pro Bono News about drawing on UK’s experience and the urge for Australia to learn
“The UK experience can provide many lessons to Australia of what can work well,
and what to watch out for particularly in relation to the potential implications on care
service quality,” Hussein said.
Overall, she believes establishing “adequate mechanisms to monitor, regulate and
support the social service market” are one of the most important goals to achieve.
Similar to the NDIS, the NHS provides benefits for people under the age of 65,
including the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Premium, Industrial
Injuries Disablement Benefit and many more. Each of these benefits serve for a
specific category of disability, once again focusing on personalisation, by providing
extra money to assist with the cost of care.
From UK’s strategies, it is clear that a strong focus on the individual needs of each
person’s health is the most successful and rewarding path, to ensure the disability
community feels acknowledged, while maintaining high care service quality.
My Care My Choice recognizes and acknowledges Australia’s ongoing care for the
disability community. Our purpose is to provide people and families with accurate
and accessible information about the disability support services available in Western
Australia. We’re passionate about connecting clients with the optimal and
appropriate care they need because everyone deserves a quality of life.