There have been conflicting reviews of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with claims a lack of funding and limited access to services are to blame.
The scheme, initiated in 2013, was designed to provide those with a permanent disability access to support both medically and socially, with the goal of improving quality of life and social independence.
Director of stakeholder relations and engagement, Carol Berry, is responsible for communicating with providers across New South Wales and resolving problems as they arise.
She believes the progress of the scheme, made over a 5-year period, is substantial but acknowledges there has been some teething issues.
“I think there are mixed opinions [of the scheme] at this point,” Ms Berry said.
“In our last quarterly report we had 84 per cent of participants saying that they were satisfied with their experience under the NDIS and that has recently jumped to 88 per cent.
“There’s obviously that 12 percent who don’t feel that way, so it’s harder for someone with a job like mine to keep making improvements to the scheme to (reach) 100 per cent.
The scheme currently supports close to 200,000 participants, but that’s estimated to rise to 460,000 Australians by 2020.
“The reforms that I am seeing around improvements to our portal, improvements to our participants pathways and other significant structural changes within the agency, I think are all very positive developments,” Ms Berry said.
“In terms of moving forward, I think that part of the roll-out just requires more time for this change to happen given it’s a significant reform.”
Ms Berry believes that an essential part of improvement for the scheme is to focus on issues at a regional level.
Bulli community health nurse, Anna Roberts, works with recipients of the NDIS and sees inconsistencies in funding patients.
“Patients I have that are supported with the NDIS aren’t necessarily funded for the medical support they need,” Ms Robertson said.
“I find those receiving funding are supported in some key areas, but the medical support that is directly linked to their disability is sometimes overlooked by the NDIS.”
Long wait times has also been to blame for people’s frustration with the NDIS, which receives 600 new cases each week.