NDIS: Inequality for the aged

Dr Peter Freckleton, Hampton

Letter to the Age Published May 11th 2019

The National Disability Insurance Scheme was a life-changing idea but before it got going, it was sullied by irrational ageism – the exclusion of the over-65s. A prima facie offence against the Age Discrimination Act so obvious that the act was hastily changed to outlaw complaints.

Particularly anomalous is the rejection of survivors of poliomyelitis. That was a childhood condition yet survivors are shunted onto aged care, which is illogical. Polio is not age-related, and aged care packages are a mirage. People die waiting for them. This discrimination was driven by penny-pinching, not reason, because polio as a medical condition logically falls within the NDIS. Requirements are clearly definable and modest, and the group involved is finite. The dreaded “floodgates” would not be opened by NDIS coverage.