It seems that many patients do not receive the necessary treatments and care for their health problems because of many misunderstandings between doctors and the National Disability Insurance (NDIS) decision maker. Indeed, these two trades each have their own language, depending on the training and the orders they have received. So, sometimes, the same word can have two different meanings for both parties and therefore be interpreted differently. In this case, when the doctor tells NDIS what the patient needs, the NDIS may make another decision that does not necessarily meet the patient's needs.
For example: « In the application form, his doctor might write, “John needs further rehabilitation in order to aid his recovery.” What they might have meant, in disability language, was that John requires capacity building supports in order to break down some of the barriers he now experiences as a result of his injury. However, the NDIS decision maker will most likely see the words “rehabilitation” and “recovery”, and send John straight back to the health department. But if the health practitioner had just said, “John needs capacity building supports in order to aid his social and economic participation post accident,” then the NDIS decision maker would most likely just give this a tick. Just a few words, and John’s future has completely changed. »
In different contexts, the word’s meaning changes. An organisation, The Summer Foundation, was created to address this problem by providing support to practitioners and NDIS decision makers, allowing them to differentiate between a health problem and a disability.
By Lucie Gonzalez (guest blogger and researcher)