MND Australia welcomes the Federal Government’s May 2023 Budget and commends it for the significant investment in the health and care sectors. More specifically:
MND Australia welcomes the Federal Government’s renewal of the NDIS with cautious optimism, noting that the scheme is currently undergoing a full review. MND Australia welcomes the allocation of almost $733 million to reinvigorate the National Disability Insurance Agency and to better support participants to manage their plans.
“Many people with MND have had difficulty getting access to the NDIS and getting appropriate and timely supports approved. We look forward to how we can support the NDIA's reform work including evidence-based approaches in MND and the broader neurological space that can demonstrate efficacy and better support the delay of further disability,” said David Ali, CEO MND Australia.
Given around half of Australians diagnosed with motor neurone disease are aged 65 and over they must rely on the Aged Care system for their government-funded disability supports and services, given they are ineligible for the NDIS.
MND Australia commends the Government’s commitment to continuing to implement the Aged Care Royal Commission recommendations. MND Australia applauds the new funding of $166.8m to provide an additional 9,500 home care packages and $487 million over four years for the Disability Support for Older Australians Program.
MND Australia is disappointed with the decision to further delay the roll-out of the Support at Home Program for another year until July 2025.
“Timely and appropriate home care packages and the Support at Home Program are vital in making a significant difference to the lives of people with MND and their carers and families. No one with MND should be left without supports and services simply because of their age. With the further delay of implementing the Support at Home Program, many people with MND will die before being able to access the Program,” Mr Ali added. “However, MND Australia and its members look forward to continuing to participate in the design of this vital Program.”
MND Australia commends the Federal Government’s commitment to strengthening Medicare with around $6 billion over five years to ensure the scheme is fit for the 21st century. This is a good step in the right direction towards achieving holistic and specialist care for people with MND.
“MND affects each person differently in terms of symptoms, rate and progression of symptoms and overall survival time. Further funding to primary health care bringing a multi-disciplinary approach will bring consistency and reassurance for people with MND and their families,” Mr Ali said.
MND Australia also notes that funding was announced in the Budget to refresh the National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions. This sets the directions and outcomes to help Australians live healthier lives through effective prevention and management of chronic conditions including MND.
“MND Australia looks forward to working with the Department of Health and Aged Care and the health portfolio Ministers to co-design reforms that will directly and swiftly improve the lives of people with MND. We would like to remind the Government that the best outcomes are always achieved when the people most affected are central to the solutions,” Mr Ali said.