Spinal Life Australia member Wendy Adams has become one of the first Australians to have nursing services funded under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The Toowoomba resident hopes she’s also not the last.
Ms Adams was previously receiving funding for nursing services under her Your Life Your Choice plan and learned that her funding would not continue after she transitioned to the NDIS.
She successfully appealed this decision and will now receive funding for an hour a day of essential nursing services at home, such as pressure sore care, skin health checks and catheter changes.
Wendy said nursing services were essential to prevent serious health issues developing as a result of her spinal cord injury.
“To expect someone with a disability to spend hours each day waiting at a doctor’s office or emergency room or needing to pay for daily visits out of their own pocket just isn’t sustainable,” she said.
“I’m very happy with the results of the appeal, but it should also apply to everyone with a disability who needs it.
“I know there are many who can’t get funding or access nursing services, including young people who are forced to stay at nursing homes as the only way they can get daily care.”
Her win coincides with Disability Action Week (9 to 15 September) which aims at empowering people with a disability and improving access and inclusion in the community.
Spinal Life Chief Executive Officer Michael Powell said the organisation hoped her win was the start of many to come.
“While there are people who are covered for nursing services under the State Government’s Queensland Community Care program, there are still many like Wendy who don’t have that option and were not offered it through their NDIS plan,” he said.
“Not having these services readily available can lead to life-threatening health complications, resulting in more hospitalisations and further pressure on the health care system.
“It’s very important to ensure people who need nursing services can access funding for it, through the NDIS or elsewhere.”
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) recently advised they were working with the Queensland Government’s Department of Health to further clarify where responsibilities lie for nursing services.
Mr Powell said he hoped this collaboration resulted in a positive outcome for all Australians with a disability.
Ms Adams received assistance from Legal Aid and Queensland Advocacy Incorporated to successfully appeal her decision.