The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a vital national service but after seven years of Liberal rule it has been slashed and mismanaged to such an extent that people are now dying of neglect in their homes.
David Harris (above left) was dead in his Paramatta unit for two months before his body was discovered by police.
After he was found by authorities his grieving sister (above right), based interstate, learned David’s NDIS funding had been cut off because he missed an annual review meeting.
This meant cleaners and other NDIS-funded supports stopped visiting the 55-year-old who was schizophrenic, diabetic, incontinent and needing regular injections.
The emergence of his tragic death comes after another NDIS participant, Adelaide woman Ann-Marie Smith, died after being neglected - stuck in a cane chair at home and not checked on for up to a year.
How many Australians with disability have to die in their homes before Stuart Robert - the man the Prime Minister has put in charge of our national disability scheme – admits there is a problem?
Mr Robert has so far presided over
• $4.6b being ripped out of the NDIS
• 1200 Australians with disability dying while waiting to be funded by the scheme
• A refusal to launch an independent inquiry into system failures that led to Ms Smith’s death
After her brother David’s lonely death, Leanne Longfellow asked one thing of Mr Robert – that case managers be introduced to the NDIS. He wrote back saying there were no plans to do that.
The Minister needs to get real and start acting in the interests of Australians with disability.
Australians pay their taxes so that when they are vulnerable they are not left to die in squalor.
This kind of system failure resulting in death by neglect needs to be approached head on with honesty and genuine reform. Not Mr Robert’s usual blend of bravado and obfuscation.
An independent inquiry must be launched into these deaths by neglect of NDIS participants.
Anything less is just sweeping these deaths under the carpet.
FRIDAY, 22 MAY 2020