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About one in ten people released from prison has an intellectual disability. Jes

Caring for ex-prisoners under the NDIS would save money and lives

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) promises to deliver better support to the one in five Australians living with a disability. But what about those inside prison or who have just left prison…
Current funding criteria count against the ParaRoos and other athletes with disability who are represented by mainstream sports bodies. ParaRoos

In picking winners, sport funding rules can fail people with disabilities

The Australian Sports Commission has announced the funding of national sport organisations and individual sports for 2014-15. Overall Olympic funding enjoyed an increase of about A$750,000. Paralympic…
Opposition leader Bill Shorten attacked the government’s budget as ‘ideological’, but his own vision in the battle of ideas is far less clear. AAP/Alan Porritt

Shorten’s budget in reply: will it reshape voters' memories?

Opposition leader Bill Shorten was emphatic in his budget in reply that the Abbott government’s first budget was an “attack” on the Australian way of life. In his speech on the floor of parliament last…
The Big Society policy of Britain’s Conservative Party was to harness entrepreneurialism to social justice. The results have been mixed. Paul Clarke

Will more business-like social enterprises improve care?

As we hear more about looming federal public sector spending cuts and budget deficits, Australian governments seek new ways to meet diverse and growing human service needs. The challenges of an ageing…
Everything provided under the NDIS already has to meet the test of being ‘reasonable and necessary’. Image from

Disability funding is no charity – it’s an investment

Treasurer Joe Hockey warned earlier this week of a “massive blowout” in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) if the system wasn’t made more efficient. This follows subtle re-positioning of the…
People living in the remote communities face system failures in health care, disability services, housing and infrastructure. Flickr/publik

Why Indigenous Australians need a properly funded NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) presents an overwhelming opportunity to revolutionise the care and support given to Indigenous people. But the equity of the scheme is already at risk, with…
The integrity of the scheme relies on listening to the people whose lives are affected by disability. Image from

DisabilityCare now a reality but how can we protect its future?

Legend has it that before the introduction of Medibank (now Medicare) in 1974, then-prime minister Gough Whitlam convinced the premiers at a Commonwealth-states meeting to introduce a national disability…
The rollout of the NDIS will place considerable pressure on the disability workforce. But are 457 visas the answer? AAP

Reliance on 457 visas blunts the vision of the NDIS

With the legislation now through both houses of parliament, The National Disability Insurance Scheme, or DisabilityCare, is law, and will quickly become a defining feature of Australia’s social policy…
Today’s budget will not be a typical big-spend budget. AAP

The ‘Alice in Wonderland’ budget

Softening up voters for harsh measures, Julia Gillard observed a fortnight ago that “Tuesday 14 May will be no old-fashioned pre-election budget night”. The budget would not be a “political pamphlet” but…
Julia Gillard’s NDIS has bipartisan support, but the debate has been marred by politicking. AAP/James Knowler

Grattan on Friday: A taxing solution

In the end, the disabled outsmarted the politicians. Julia Gillard will bring legislation to the current parliament for her tax increase to contribute to the cost of the national disability insurance scheme…
The remaining A$3.5 billion needed to fully fund the NDIS will still need to be found from other sources. Image from

Coalition support for levy just a step along the road to an NDIS

The announcement that opposition leader Tony Abbott will support a 0.5% increase to the Medicare Levy to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) takes the politics out of about half the additional…
Certainty of funding is important and that’s why an income tax levy or premium is the way to go. Image from

Increasing income tax the right choice for a sustainable NDIS

While an income tax increase may be hard to sell to some people in the community in the lead-up to a federal election, it’s the right choice for a sustainable National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has confirmed the Medicare levy will be increased to fund the NDIS. AAP/Julian Smith

Medicare levy boost to pay for disability insurance scheme

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a 0.5% increase in the Medicare levy to help fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) - but Labor will not bring in legislation for the higher tax…
The broad economics of the scheme and the fine details of its implementation remain unclear. Image from

We have an NDIS but what does this mean for disability care?

While the Labor party’s misguided leadership coup hogged the limelight last Thursday, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Bill passed through parliament. The government also announced the name…
Some people need assistance and support to express their sexuality in satisfying ways. Image from

Why the NDIS should cover the services of sex workers

Sexual expression is a fundamental part of being human, with most of us able to choose our sexual partners and, to varying degrees, meet our intimacy needs and desires. While not all people with disabilities…
The McKeon review of health and medical research funding is now in the government’s hands with the review panel stepping up its focus on the return on investment. Paul Miller/AAP

Health review panel adjusts funding recommendations

The McKeon review of health and medical research has reduced its short term funding bid in the face of current federal budget pressures. The draft review, released in October last year, suggested an additional…
How will the NDIS support life-long planning for Australians with disability as they grow older? Image from

NDIS for under 65s: ageism or a battle over priorities?

Last week’s protest by several quadriplegic Queenslanders against age discrimination prompts us to examine how the National Disability Insurance Scheme should balance needs-based eligibility and entitlement…
Obesity, over-diagnosis, the NDIS, vaccinations and open access for genetic information were just some of the issues covered in 2012. Kylie May;; Morberg; Pranjal Mahn

2012, the year that was: Health + Medicine

It promised to be a full year of reforms: pokies legislation, front-of-pack food labels and a dental system that doesn’t cost those in need an arm and a leg. But while we did see cigarette companies forced…

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