The Govt Is Considering Adding ADHD To The NDIS, Which Is Great News For People & Acronyms

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Bill Shorten has asked the scheme for advice on ADHD’s “eligibility for NDIS” according to the SMH. Coverage under the NDIS would allow ADHD to be partially or totally funded by the government. Now THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about.

Currently, ADHD is not on the NDIS’ collection of “List A Medical Conditions“.

However, advocates for its inclusion reckon they’ve got a decent case after studies revealed the number of prescriptions to manage the disorder in Australia more than doubled in the past decade.

Advocates such as comedian Em Rusciano (who was only recently diagnosed) have been leading voices for awareness and legislative change.

Rusciano recently gave a moving speech at the National Press Club about her journey with ADHD.

Not gonna lie, activism that features Kermit the Frog is the best type of activism. I will not be taking comments.

In addition to the prescription numbers, there’s also an economic argument in favour of increased government assistance for diagnosing ADHD-affected Aussies.

In 2019, consultancy firm Deloitte produced a report that found “the total cost of ADHD in Australia in 2019 is $20.42 billion.”

This number “includes financial costs of $12.83 billion and wellbeing losses of $7.59 billion. Productivity losses due to ADHD are substantial ($10.19 billion).”

So, while it does feel ghoulish to reduce the experiences of folks with ADHD to mere dollar signs (capitalism at it again!), these economic figures might just be the kick in the bum that our pollies need to enact meaningful change.

Though, despite the mountain of evidence in favour of increased government support for diagnosing ADHD, there are still critics.

The Financial Review’s Mark Di Stefano unintentionally managed to sum up a lot of the more prominent ADHD misconceptions in a single Tweet on Tuesday morning.

Thankfully, Guardian Australia’s Matilda Bosely was quick to clap back, dropping a stark reminder that ADHD affects far more than just someone’s ability to focus. Bosely is currently writing a book on her experiences with ADHD.

Any change to NDIS coverage could put man in charge of the money, Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers, in an awkward position.

The NDIS is currently one of the top five spends in the federal budget next to aged care, defence, health and public debt interest as per the SMH.

Chalmers recently called for a “national conversation” on how best to fund the nation’s budget. It’s no secret that Australia currently faces an uphill battle with inflation and a rise in cost of living pressures.

Regardless, ADHD awareness and diagnoses have experienced a surge in Australia since the pandemic.

Advocates will now be hoping the question is no longer “if” they get more assistance, but “when”.