The Improving Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Patients program builds on the work done by KHLOs across Victoria to improve the access of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria to mainstream health services.

Project Information:
ICAP is an extension and enhancement of the Koori Hospital Liaison (KHLO) Program, established in 1982.

Both the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) agree on the need for a new approach to ensuring accurate identification of, and quality care for, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in Victorian health services. Commencing in the 2004-05 financial year, this approach is underpinned by amalgamating previously separate funding: the KHLO program and the WIES supplement. This provides a single coherent funding stream proportional to the health service’s Aboriginal patient numbers. The WIES supplement for Aboriginal patients has been increased from 10% to 30%.

ICAP encourages:
* An Outcome Focus – cultural change in health services leading to improved identification and health care for Aboriginal patients.
* Responses Proportional to the Number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Patients – All health services with Aboriginal patients need to identify, and undertake, initiatives to improve identification and quality of care for Aboriginal patients. The scale and cost of these initiatives will necessarily be proportional to the number of Aboriginal patients, which is reflected in WIES supplement funding.
* Whole of Health Service Responsibility – Aboriginal patients are everybody’s business in a health service, not the sole responsibility of designated Aboriginal liaison staff.
* Relationships with Aboriginal People and Organisations – From the perspective of health services, this is the key to improving cultural safety and being able to make appropriate referrals, both to the primary health system and post discharge. From the perspective of Aboriginal people, these relationships are the basis for building confidence to attend hospital at an appropriate time and to feel safe to identify as an Aboriginal person.

The ICAP Resource Kit is a compendium of best practice ideas and useful information to assist health services meet the requirements set out in the ICAP Guidelines. The Kit is updated as new practice examples emerge and new information becomes available.

More Information:
Koori Human Services Unit
Department of Human Services
20/50 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne 3000
Ph: 03 9096 7032