Living with COVID‐19 in 2022: the impact of the pandemic on Australian general practice


The commencement of the pandemic in March 2020 saw the nation’s general practices confronting the personal and professional health risks shown in stark relief in Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Individual practices restructured rapidly to provide telehealth support for patients in their homes, source any personal protective equipment available, offer acute respiratory clinics for symptomatic patients, and innovate regarding carpark use, and mask and gown design and production. Some experienced the chaos of temporary closure due to COVID‐19‐positive contact, and staff responded to large volumes of additional phone calls and emails, constantly changing protocols, and patient frustration and fear about the unfolding pandemic.

Telehealth, almost overnight, received the business case it needed to take root in primary care, and practices and their patients worked together to find the right blend of virtual and face‐to‐face interaction to keep communities safe. 

Australians became inseparable from their smartphones — for work and business check‐in, phone and video interaction, e‐prescription, and to receive SMS communication regarding their all‐important polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results.

Read this MJA Perspective to learn more about the impact of the pandemic on Australian general practice.


Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain key components of the perspective.
  2. List main findings.
  3. Recognise changes in management in response to the perspective.


Authors: Claire L Jackson

Article Type: Perspective


Medical Journal of Australia
Reading: journal; textbook; book; literature review
1h : 0m
MBA: 1h : 0m
Health Services Administration
Medical Student, Doctor-in-Training, Non-Vocationally Registered, Researcher, Retired, Specialist General Practitioner
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