We have continued to work hard to advocate for our members in line with the key priorities we identified in our Coronavirus Statement early this year. You can read our Coronavirus Statement HERE.
Here is an update on where we stand on these priorities to date:
The NSW Government should commit to funding Disability Advocacy Organisations until at least June 2021.
Despite several months having passed we are still in the dark in terms of continuity of funding for disability advocacy organisations after December this year. We continue to lobby for a commitment from the NSW Government and hope that a formal announcement will be made after the state budget later this year.
The NSW Government should commit to public consultation on the development of an ethical protocol for intensive care resource allocation in the event that demand exceeds supply.
We can now report that a protocol on ICU resource allocation is in the process of being finalised. PDCN was able to review the draft and make recommendations. The protocol explicitly states that a person will not be discriminated against on the basis of any disabilities they may have. We consider this to be a significant win.
The Federal Government should extend the provision of Personal Protective Equipment from the National Medical Stockpile to any person or organisation carrying out activities which require close physical contact with people with disability.
Information from our member calls indicates that at this stage people appear to be able to access the PPE they require but we are watching this closely, especially in light of the new directives from NSW Health. If you cannot access PPE or are unable to access PPE that is suitable for your physical disability, please get in touch, as we can refer these issues directly to NSW Health for a response.
The NSW Government should commit to ensuring that supply chains for food, hygiene products and medication remain open and that all people with physical disability can access these essentials via delivery.
Members have indicated that supply chain issues appear on the whole to have been resolved, meaning people are now able to access their regular food, hygiene products and medication. Those using home delivery services have reported that these services are working well.
The Federal Government should expand the Coronavirus Supplement to recipients of the Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment and Carer Allowance.
In response to federal government pushback to the proposed expansion of the Coronavirus Supplement, we have developed a new proposal which seeks to instead increase the Pension Supplement component of these payments to the same effect. We have now directly approached Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston’s office with the proposal and are waiting for a reply. We are still very keen for people to provide us with your individual stories to highlight why additional financial support is essential for people on income support during the pandemic. You can email Hayley at email@example.com.