This report explores the impacts of COVID‑19 and associated restrictions on the number of Indigenous-specific MBS health check services provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people between January 2020 and December 2021. The analysis examines the impacts of COVID‑19 by year and month at the national, state/territory and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas levels.
Following a decade of annual growth, 2020 and 2021 were the first years without an increase in Indigenous-specific health check numbers. The number of health checks delivered during the first 2 years of the pandemic were somewhat lower than during the peak year of 2019 – despite the continuing growth of the Indigenous population. New telehealth options for Indigenous-specific health checks were introduced at the start of the pandemic. These were used most commonly shortly after being introduced, but then the numbers of health checks delivered this way declined gradually. The impact of the pandemic on the use of Indigenous health checks varied across Australia. Tasmania, which was relatively unaffected by cases and restrictions, stood out as the state that appeared to be the least affected during 2020 and 2021.