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People with disabilities to have more control

Hon Tony Ryall

Minister of Health
23 August 2011
Media statement

People with disabilities to have more control

Health Minister Tony Ryall has today launched a new initiative in Tauranga designed to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

'"Local Area Coordination" is being set up to help disabled people have more control over what support they get. Instead of telling disabled people what support they'll get, and from whom, our new approach offers people choice through an individual budget,' Mr Ryall says.

"The disabled person gets to choose how their budget is spent.

'Local Area Coordinators will work alongside people with disabilities to help them use their individual budget to lead a better life. At the same time, they will better link disabled people with other services and support in their communities.

“The initiative is part of the Government's new way of supporting disabled people. This approach gives people with disabilities more choice and control over the support they receive and the lives they lead.

'Nationwide, the number of people offered more choice with personal care and home help through an individual budget has risen from around 200 to close to a thousand in the last two years.'

'We're considering expanding the Individual Budget scheme to a wider range of services for disabled people. More will be able to choose how a budget allocated to them would be spent on things like respite care, community and carer support and home help rather than being allocated a set number of hours for those services.'

The Government has allocated an extra $130-million dollars over four years to Disability Support services in this year's Budget, with an extra $32.5 million this financial year.

ENDS

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