SARRAH believes there is an immediate need and substantial benefits to the wellbeing and economic development of northern Australia of building the allied health and service capacity in northern Australia.
Allied health professionals (AHPs) provide a wide range of services and supports across all stages of the lifecycle and in every health and associated service setting, including disability services, aged care and schools.
The health and social assistance sector is projected by the Commonwealth Government to be the greatest source of employment growth and demand for the next five years – with an additional 250,000 jobs – continuing the trend of the past decade.
Rural and remote communities face a host of challenges that are not experienced by people living in major cities, particularly in relation to accessing MBS services. Maldistribution of the allied health workforce and market failure in rural and remote communities limit access to allied health services either directly or through a Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDM plans) / General Practitioner Management Plan (GP Management Plans).
SARRAH welcomes the work of Joint Standing Committee in considering the implementation, performance and governance of the NDIS and specific focus of this inquiry into NDIS Planning.
The Thin Markets Project Discussion Paper identifies potential responses to the issue across four domains:
1. Market Facilitation
2. Market Deepening
4. Alternative Commissioning Models
SARRAH Acting CEO, Cath Maloney provided a statement to the Royal Commission on the 12 July 2019 in Darwin.
This submission sets out SARRAH's position that in rural and remote communities, access to appropriately qualified mental health professionals is limited and that this is compounded by limited access to the MBS by allied health professionals supporting people with mental health issues. This is further compounded by the rate of payment offered through the MBS, which does not adequately reflect the cost of providing services into remote and very remote communities.
Submissions Lodged Prior to 2018
Older submissions developed by SARRAH are available here.