The Kimberley Aboriginal Health Planning Forum (KAHPF), originally called the Kimberley Aboriginal Health Plan Steering Committee, was formed in 1998 with the initial task of developing the first Kimberley Regional Aboriginal Health Plan 1999. There were 8 original members: Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services, Kimberley Health Region (now WACHS Kimberley), the Chairpersons of the 3 ATSIC Regional Councils, the Office of Aboriginal Health, the Dept. of Indigenous Affairs and the Dept. of Health and Ageing.
Since 2001 KAHPF has met regularly, usually 6 times a year, at sites across the region. Membership has expanded to 13 core and 7 Associate members. The Forum plays a crucial role in advocacy and the planning and development of primary health services in the Kimberley. KAHPF is chaired by the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS).
KAHPF's Major Achievements
Given the presence of health conditions in the Kimberley almost unknown in other parts of Australia and the high turnover of health staff in the region, it is important that clinical practices are based on what is known to be effective. Forum members have worked together to address this via the collaborative development and regular updating of:
The Kimberley Standard Drug List used to guide the dispensing of medications in hospitals and health clinics across the region.
Over 40 Kimberley therapeutic Treatment Protocols covering Maternal and Child Health, Chronic Disease and Sexual Health, which have been endorsed and adopted for use by all Kimberley health service providers.
Other notable achievements made possible by the inter-agency collaboration that KAHPF facilitates include:
- The formation of ten sub-committees and working groups operating under the auspices of KAHPF.
- All WACHS-operated remote clinics providing drugs at no cost to patients under Section 100 of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
- increased GP capacity in the region via the deployment of GP Registrars through a collaboration between KAMS and WAGPET.
- The provision of 19.2 exemptions in WACHS remote clinics and some hospitals which has facilitated the generation of revenue for primary health service enhancement in communities.