The Practice Incentives Program Indigenous Health Incentive (PIP IHI) is one of a range of important tools which enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations (ATSICCHOs) to offer culturally appropriate holistic health care to their clients. It provides an essential level of flexibility in their approach and is fundamental to ATSICCHOs’ continued provision of best practice, culturally safe care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with chronic disease.
- Supporting the ATSICCHO model of care through PIP IHI payments is essential and will contribute to closing the health gap.
- It is known that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are more likely to continue to engage with culturally competent health providers. Ensuring the cultural competency of PIP IHI health providers is essential to best practice management of chronic disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- The ability to claim a payment prior to undertaking a service does not incentivise the fulfilment of that commitment. If, for whatever reason, that commitment is unable to be fulfilled, the client’s chronic disease management is compromised.
- All practice staff within mainstream medical practices should be required to complete ‘cultural awareness’ training in order to embed cultural competency. Culturally competent staff will provide better quality care and understand the impact of certain chronic disease management processes on Aboriginal and Torres Strait patients. Evidence of compliance with training requirements should be provided prior to registration for the PIP IHI program.
- Registration could be centralised, as has been suggested in regard to the Indigenous Pharmacy Programs (IPP) review, and linked to the client’s Medicare card, or potentially completed as a one-off (rather than annual) registration process. If the client moves to a new medical practice then they should have to re-register at the new medical practice.