Many of the families of people with disabilities living in residential care say they are “beside themselves with fear” over the consequences of the wholesale privatisation of disability services in NSW. Legislation that transfers all government-run disability services to the non-government sector has all but passed in the state Parliament.
Families say they see the state Government using the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as a smokescreen to evict their grown-up children from the only homes they have known and to escape their disability funding obligations.
Disability advocates fear there will be no provider of last resort if the non-government sector is unable to cope with complex cases. Many people in large residential homes have multiple diagnoses.
There are also concerns about the part of the bill that transfers funding for over-65-year-olds with disability from the NDIS to the aged-care system.
In this ABC news video, two families of people living in the Stockton Centre in Newcastle discuss their grave misgivings about the new policy.
If you have a family member or friend with disabilities who will be affected by these changes, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A recently retired nurse has also spoken out about her fears that the privatisation of disability services in NSW will have terrible impacts on those involved.
Verna Bower said she was speaking on behalf of working nurses who were unable to voice their concerns.
“It’s not about filling in forms and making sure you hit all the key performance indicators, it’s the love and understanding and real care that you can give to these people,” she said.
Mark Murphy of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association also spoke against the move.
“We know from other areas in health and other industries that privatisation doesn’t necessarily ensure better access and better services.’”
He said the union also had doubts about some of the assurances being given by the state Government to its 14,000 disability services employees.
“There’s no guarantees about their entitlements or conditions, there’s no job security.
:Already it appears staff will be able to be transferred without their consent under a privatised system, which shows no consideration for them as individuals.”
Previously on Nurse Uncut: