Macquarie Federal Member Susan Templeman joined DARE Disability Support CEO Andrew Daly in calling for rapid antigen testing to be made available to disability service providers.
In a press release, Ms Templeman said rapid antigen testing for workers with disabilities would reduce the risk of infection for people with disabilities, and therefore their families and support workers.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) currently does not allow disability service providers to maintain stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) and does not provide for the use of rapid antigen testing, either by through direct payments to providers or individual support plans.
Mr Daly, CEO of Springwood-based DARE Disability Support, called for more funds to be made available for rapid antigen testing for workers in the disability sector.
“DARE is convinced that rapid antigenic testing will enable service providers to people with disabilities to identify emerging chains of transmission early and prevent infection in people with disabilities, their families and support workers,” he said. he declares.
“Obviously, the impact of not funding rapid antigenic testing in the disability sector will be higher levels of infections and transmissions in the disability and the wider community, and the very real risk that providers will have. disability services may not be able to continue providing services and people with disabilities will suffer. “
Rapid antigenic tests can detect COVID-19 extremely early in infection. By saliva sample or nasal swab, it can produce results in 10 to 15 minutes.
Ms Templeman called on the federal government to do more to ensure that such tests can be provided to workers in the disability sector.
“Disability support workers can be a very mobile workforce, and funding a rapid self-test of antigens would help identify infection early and therefore reduce the risk of transmission and maintain staff and the services available, ”Ms. Templeman said.
“It just makes sense that the government is doing everything in its power to ensure that some of the most vulnerable members of our society are not left behind as we work our way through the new COVID environment. “