4 March 2009

Disability services need more resources?

| johnboy
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The Greens are finally online with an interesting view on the funding of disability services:

    “The Disability Commissioner needs to be separate from the Health Services Commissioner,” Ms Bresnan said today.

    “A clear recommendation from the Gallop Inquiry into a number deaths in disability services and the Disability Reform Group – which was set up to oversee subsequent improvements – was to keep these positions separate.”

    “The Attorney General’s answer to a question in the Assembly yesterday however makes it clear that resource limitations have taken precedence over this clear advice. That is unacceptable.”

    “The work of a Disability Commissioner is about resolving issues that have arisen in long term relationships and care. It requires a detailed knowledge and understanding of disability service provision and the needs of very vulnerable and marginalised people. “

    “This is quite different to the health complaints work, which is more likely to flow from one off incidents that might affect anyone, and which often can and must be addressed fairly promptly.”

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I disagree.

So much of what was recommended in the Gallop Report was patently whacko, that I decline to find it a compelling reason for having a separate Disability Commissioner.

I would really prefer an arguement the presents the rationale for such a position.

In my experience, having a plethora of different commissioners is a way to create the environment where people and their issues fall through the gaps. The debate so often becomes one of demarcation.

Back in the day when I was still on the front line of such things, I spent many fruitless and unhappy hours waiting to find out whether a relevant commissioner/advocate/trustee was prepared to admit the client may conceivably fall within their jurisdiction.

I think it would be far better to have a clent-focussed advocacy system than one structured around arbitrary definitions and diagnoses.

People so often fail to fit into the boxes we create for them.

Sorry Granny, but it seems the RA community is as interested in disability issues as the rest of the ACT/Australia/the world/the universe.

We can only console ourselves with the raionalisation that half a commissioner’s better than no commissioner at all.

I completely agree.

My disabled daughter sees the doctor practically never and has been hospitalised just once in nine years. She is exceedingly healthy but very disabled.

Disability is an ongoing issue concerning lifestyle and, whilst many people with a disability suffer quite awful and chronic health issues, they are not the same thing at all and do not belong together.

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