Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to health services in an urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care service

Project Details


The COVID-19 pandemic changed the delivery of primary health care across Australia, and the world. Changes included clinic reconfigurations to enable testing, screening for COVID-19 symptoms or potential exposure, and isolation of suspected cases. Additionally, the introduction of new temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) telehealth services ensured that those who needed routine general practice care could receive it without having to physically attend their primary health care (PHC) service. Such significant changes impacted service delivery, the health workforce, and people attending PHC services. This project aims to investigate the impact of these changes on the Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (Inala COE) staff and patients. Medicare billing data from March 2020 - Feb 2021 will be compared to the previous, prepandemic 12 months to determine the impact on the number of occasions of service, the services provided, and any changes in the practice population. Inala COE staff and patients will be interviewed to gain an in-depth and nuanced understanding of the impact of the pandemic on access to health services.

Effective start/end date1/01/1631/12/22


  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: $419,998.00


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