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Empowering Rural Australia: RACGP Calls for NDIS Reform

Empowering Rural Australia: RACGP Calls for NDIS Reform

Ensuring Inclusive Access to NDIS in Regional and Remote Areas

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) is advocating for a comprehensive overhaul of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in rural Australia.

In response to the ongoing enquiry into NDIS participant experiences in non-urban areas, RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins emphasises the urgent need for equitable care and support.

Addressing Disparities in the Bush

Dr Higgins underscores the disparity faced by people with disabilities in rural regions, citing challenges in accessing the NDIS due to administrative hurdles.

Rural GPs, working tirelessly within the limitations of local health services, are burdened with higher administrative and financial responsibilities.

The current Medicare rebate system proves inadequate in supporting GPs in these areas, hindering their ability to provide essential NDIS-related services.

Two-Tiered NDIS System

Associate Professor Michael Clements, RACGP Vice President, highlights the existence of a two-tiered NDIS—one for major cities and another for the rest of the country.

He stresses the urgent need to bridge the gaps in service provision, calling for increased transparency and support for rural communities.

Clements proposes prioritising the recruitment of advocacy-specific workers and implementing annual reporting for NDIS participants to ensure GPs are well-informed and can provide optimal support.

Reducing Administrative Burden for GPs

Dr Clements calls on the government to ease the administrative burden on time-poor GPs, emphasising the need for streamlined paperwork and integration with Clinical Information Systems.

This reform aims to allow GPs in rural areas to focus more on patient care, ensuring that no one is left behind in the transformative impact of the NDIS.

The RACGP’s call for NDIS reform in rural Australia highlights the pressing need for a more inclusive and efficient system, ensuring that individuals with disabilities in regional and remote areas receive the care and support they rightfully deserve.