ESSA welcomes NDIS Review and backs holistic treatment approach and price reforms

7 December 2023

Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) welcomes the review into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) handed down by Minister Bill Shorten today in what is a monumental step towards improving the lives of 4.4 million people in Australia who are living with disabilities.

ESSA Acting Chief Executive Officer Carmen Jenkinson said it was clear in the review that a biopsychosocial focus, or whole-of-person treatments, from allied health services be adopted to achieve optimum outcomes for those people living with a disability.

“Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) – who are a vital member of any multidisciplinary team - help people with a disability to live their best lives by improving their physical and mental health, which increases independence, social engagement and employment opportunities,” Ms Jenkinson said.

“The NDIS Review repeatedly calls for allied health to treat the whole person, to ensure the best outcomes for the participant, their families, and caregivers. AEPs practice a biopsychosocial approach to service delivery through development of self-management strategies for the body, the mind and engagement with the community.”

ESSA also welcomes the suggested improvement to the NDIS’s pricing and payment structure, that were a major focus of the report.

“An overhaul of the pricing and payment structures will foster efficiency and effectiveness and will benefit both service providers and participants by streamlining processes and optimising resource allocation,” Ms Jenkinson said

“ESSA would additionally like to see parity and consistency across the NDIS’s allied health pricing arrangements because the current pricing determination for exercise physiology remains considerably below the service operational costs and the limits set for equivalent allied health professions.

“This poses a significant financial challenge for exercise physiologists committed to providing quality care to NDIS participants and the report was clear there will be a significantly increased demand of more than 40 per cent for allied health services by June 2025.

“ESSA has also been calling for NDIS pricing to be GST exclusive so that payment and pricing structures can align with the standards set in other national schemes.”