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The impact of COVID-19 on cancer services

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Cancer Australia has undertaken an analysis of MBS data on cancer-related medical services and procedures to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer.

Substantial reductions in medical services and procedures relating to cancer investigations and treatment have been reported by service providers in Australia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cancer Australia has undertaken an analysis of a range of services reimbursed through the MBS for the months January 2020 to June 2020 to understand where any reductions in cancer-related services have occurred, and the types of services affected.

Analyses focussed on:

  • MBS item numbers for cancer-related diagnostic and treatment procedures
  • New telehealth MBS items available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The findings are published in a new report titled Review of the impact of COVID-19 on medical services and procedures in Australia utilising MBS data: Skin, breast and colorectal cancers, and telehealth services. (PDF 1 MB)

Initial analyses showed national reductions in total monthly services for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures during the initial COVID-19 period between March and May 2020. The monthly data for some services showed an initial recovery in May, with many services showing further recovery in numbers by June 2020.

View the report: Review of the impact of COVID-19 on medical services and procedures in Australia utilising MBS data: Skin, breast and colorectal cancers, and telehealth services  (PDF 1 MB)