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Int J Equity Health. 2017 Nov 6;16(1):192. doi: 10.1186/s12939-017-0682-z.

Redressing or entrenching social and health inequities through policy implementation? Examining personalised budgets through the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Author information

1
Centre for Public Service Research, UNSW Canberra, Canberra, Australia. G.carey@adfa.edu.au.
2
Centre for Public Service Research, UNSW Canberra, Canberra, Australia.
3
School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.
4
Centre for Disability Research and Policy, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Increasing attention is being given to political agenda setting for the social determinants of health. While designing policies that can improve the social determinants of health is critical, so too is ensuring these policies are appropriately administered and implemented. Many policies have the potential to entrench or even expand inequities during implementation. At present little attention has been given to this in the social determinants of health literature. There is an international trend in the personalisation of funding for care services, from the National Health Service in the England to the Brukerstyrt Personlig Assistanse in Norway. Part of this trend is the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The NDIS has the potential to secure gains in health for hundreds of thousands of Australians living with a disability. However, policies are only as good as their implementation.

METHODS:

As part of a longitudinal study on the implementation of the Australian NDIS, we conducted a systematic document search of policy documents pertaining to the Scheme on the websites of government departments with auspice over the design and implementation of the scheme with the aim of examining issues of equity.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION:

Scheme architects have argued that the NDIS has the potential to replace a piecemeal and fragmented set of state-determined services with an empowering model of user choice and control. However, without careful attention to both existing inequities and, diversity and difference across populations (e.g. different disability types and different localities), market based approaches such as the NDIS have the serious potential to entrench or even widen inequities.

CONCLUSIONS:

The research concluded that 'personalisation' approaches can widen inequities and inequalities unless careful consideration is given at both policy design and implementation stages.

PMID:
29110663
PMCID:
PMC5674687
DOI:
10.1186/s12939-017-0682-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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