Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Inquiry NDIS participant experience in rural, regional and remote Australia

08 March 2024

Introduction 

This submission is a collaboration between the National Rural Health Alliance (the Alliance) and the Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner. We jointly welcome the opportunity to make a submission to this inquiry with a specific focus on the experience of rural, regional and remote people with the National Disability Insurance Scheme. 

The Alliance represents 51 member organisations encompassing healthcare professionals, health and wellbeing service and educational providers, researchers, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector and consumers located in rural, regional and remote Australia. The Alliance is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the 30 per cent of the population (seven million people) living in rural communities. The Alliance would like to acknowledge the input provided to this submission by rural consumers and health professionals as members of the Friends of the Alliance. 

The National Rural Health Commissioner is an independent, statutory office holder, appointed under Part VA of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act). The Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner (ONRHC) works with regional, rural and remote (hereafter rural) communities, the health sector, universities, specialist training colleges and across all levels of government, to improve rural health policies and ensure a strong focus on the needs of rural communities. In accordance with the Act, the functions of the Commissioner are to provide independent and objective advice in relation to rural heath to the Minister responsible for rural health. The ONHRC would like to acknowledge the dialogue of the National Rural Health Commissioner’s Consumer Advisory Group, which has supported this submission. The ONRHC welcomes the opportunity to join with the Alliance in providing input to the NDIS inquiry. The needs of rural Australian’s who utilse these services must be met in an equivalent way to that experienced in metropolitan Australia. 

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