Friday, 2 December 2016

Dept spokesperson refuses to agree down syndrome incurable - senate DSP reviews

Good grief. During the senate inquiry in to WTF is going on with the DSP witch hunts/reviews, it's come to light in the inquiry that the dept of human services considers that the genetic condition down syndrome may be curable, and therefore demands that those down syndrome people are subject to the current DSP reviews, as well as having to prove every two years that they still do in fact suffer from down syndrome.

If it wasn't so serious it would be laughable, however it's causing much ongoing stress and worry for both the down syndrome people themselves and those family that need to assist them in getting specialist letters. *sheesh*

Does this mean the dept of human services may have miraculously found a cure for HIV perhaps? Even though they're not doctors?
“I mean does the department agree that Down syndrome’s not going to be cured?”

The respondent to the question was Jill Charker.

Ms Charker replied: “Look I’m not a medical practitioner I’m sorry, deputy chair, I couldn’t, I couldn’t provide you with any informed view.”

“I think from our point of view what’s important to note is, ah, where we know that a person and we have information on their record is manifestly eligible, um then we, we keep track of that information over time and we don’t go back to them for medical reviews.

“That’s what’s really important.”

Mr Hill: “So the manifest category, there’s a box that you tick, go manifest, not doing a medical review, income assets, fine?”

Ms Charker: “Effectively, yeah.”

Ms Hill: “So someone with Down syndrome, to follow that example, because we had a submission, you can’t provide a comment whether that can be cured or not?”

Ms Charker: “I wouldn’t be arrogant enough to do so deputy chair insofar as not being a medical practitioner of any sort.”

Mr Hill (frustrated, addresses the others present): “Has anyone from either department heard of Down syndrome being cured?”

One of them, not Ms Charker, responds, “Sorry no, deputy chair”.
This is from the submission from Down Syndrone Australia.
It has recently come to the attention of Down Syndrome Australia that people with Down syndrome are receiving requests to provide further medical evidence of their disability as part of the review process that is being undertaken as part of the 2014 - 2015 Federal Budget which targets reviews of people under the age of 35 who are on the DSP. 

Down syndrome is a permanent genetic condition in which the person has an extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional chromosome results in a number of physical and developmental characteristics and some level of intellectual disability. Down syndrome is the most common cause of intellectual disability and everyone who has Down syndrome will have some degree of intellectual disability. It is not a ‘medical condition’. 

Given the permanent nature of Down syndrome and the accompanying intellectual disability, it is inappropriate to ask families to provide medical evidence for a DSP medical review. This approach creates both unnecessary burden on families but also is inefficient and a waste of limited resources Down Sydrone Australia submission 
Facebook video here from Julian Hill MP