Service usage and service gaps during the COVID-19 pandemic

Service usage and service gaps during the COVID-19 pandemic
Author/editor: Biddle, N & Gray, M
Year published: 2020


The aim of this paper is to analyse the level and distribution of service needs during the peak of the COVID-19 infection period in Australia – roughly mid-March to mid-May 2020. We show that the greatest rate of unmet need was for issues related to domestic and family violence; drug and alcohol counselling; and day-to-day living support. However, the greatest level of unmet need (which includes not seeking support or having difficulty accessing) is for health/medical issues and employment assistance, estimated to have impacted on 1.6 million and 970,000 Australians respectively. The most common source of barriers is on the service supply side (operator busy, services or appointments not available) whereas the types of individuals who report the greatest gaps are males, those aged 65 to 74 years, and those who lived outside of a capital city.

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