Media Release by The Hon Paul Fletcher MP

NDIS supports participants with dysphagia

The Australian Government and state and territory governments have agreed interim solutions to ensure people with dysphagia do not fall through cracks between mainstream health systems and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, said that at the Disability Reform Council meeting on 10 December 2018, ministers discussed the critical need to improve the way the NDIS and mainstream health systems interact.

“The NDIS was intended to complement other service systems, such as mainstream health systems. NDIS participants should be able to access mainstream health services, including community health services, in the same way as other people in the general community,” Mr Fletcher said.

The Australian Government recognises that dysphagia, where a person has difficulty swallowing, is one of the more complex areas requiring clarity.

“Until long-term arrangements are agreed between governments, the Australian Government has decided that the NDIS will fund the ongoing assessment and monitoring of meal plans for NDIS participants with dysphagia who aren’t in a hospital or acute care setting,” Mr Fletcher said.

“I believe that the NDIS funding these supports in the interim is the responsible action to take until the roles and responsibilities for dysphagia have been agreed by governments.”

The Australian Government will continue to work with states and territories to better clarify the roles and responsibilities of mainstream health systems and the NDIS. This includes ensuring state and territory governments continue to provide people with disability the right health services they need.