AHPA is profoundly disappointed that the NDIS National Workforce Plan: 2021-2025 is almost identical to the Overview for Consultation produced by the Department of Social Services in June 2020. Although allied health professionals comprise over 7% of NDIS workers and are key to the self-determination and reablement of most people living with a disability, we are largely ignored in the Plan, which is vague and fails to appreciate that there are specific challenges for the allied health workforce that are different from those for disability support workers.
Our submission contends that purely market-driven solutions will never fairly address the lack of access to allied health services in rural, remote and other areas where people with disability are disadvantaged. Inequities are also exacerbated when disability, aged care and health are treated as silos.
An effective workforce plan must fund and develop collection of allied health workforce data in order to plan for future NDIS needs. It must also provide allied health students and professionals with training, clinical placements and resourced supervision in disability settings. Unnecessary and expensive administration requirements for allied health professionals should be removed. Most importantly, allied health professionals should be thoroughly consulted at all planning stages.