Hospital discharge times to be slashed

·1-min read

More than 1000 disabled patients stuck in hospital will be discharged faster under a new agreement.

National Disability Insurance Scheme Minister Bill Shorten struck the deal with his state and territory counterparts in Melbourne on Friday, to help speed up patients leaving hospital.

The plan will address the 1100 NDIS recipients in medical facilities - some for several months - while they wait for appropriate accommodation to be made available.

Reducing the high number of NDIS appeals going to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal through the development of a different dispute resolution process will also be a top priority.

Disabled patients will be prioritised in Australia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the seven-point plan committed to by state and territory leaders.

With winter underway, ministers will work to ensure people living with disabilities have access to rapid antigen tests, PPE, and booster shots.

They will also try to identify high risk environments for people with a disability.

The terms of reference for the planned 2023 review of the NDIS will be mapped out sooner to help bring it forward.

The agreement includes improving support for early childhood and education services for children with impairments.

A new chief executive for the National Disability Insurance Agency will be recruited following the resignation of former chief Martin Hoffman, who finishes up in early July.

Disability ministers will meet again in late July to work on the commitments.

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