Personal Assistance Services

Personal Assistance Services provide people with the opportunity to exercise control and choice in their lives. In so doing it enables people to be active participants within their families, communities and society. Analysis of the need for Personal Assistance Services was carried out by IWA which indicated that there was an excess of 1000 people on the waiting lists for this vital service. IWA have prioritised the waiting lists for Personal Assistance Services as an issue that needs to be addressed.

The National Disability Authority review document "Towards Best Practice in the Provision of Health Service for People with Disabilities" 2004, recognised the value of the service when it stated that the provision of Personal Assistance is considered a minimal requirement for people with disabilities.

"Towards an Independent Future" the report of The Review Group on Health and Personal Social Services for People with Disabilities, 1996, identified an average need for 10 hours of service per person per week. The report stated that this level of service could respond to the essential personal care needs only, quality of life requirements were not accounted for in this estimate.

IWA estimates that there is a current unmet need of over 520,000 hours per annum for Personal Assistant Services for people with physical and sensory disabilities alone.

IWA called on the Minister for Finance in 2006 and 2007 Pre- Budget Submission to meet the government’s stated commitment in the 2004 budget to provide 1.2 million extra Personal Assistant hours before 2009. IWA will continue to lobby the government to honour their stated commitment.