There has never been a more dangerous time than the COVID-19 pandemic for people with non- communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, cancer, respiratory problems or cardiovascular conditions, new UNSW Sydney research has found.

Among the adverse impacts of the pandemic for people with NCDs, the study found they are more vulnerable to catching and dying from COVID-19, while their exposure to NCD risk factors – such as substance abuse, social isolation and unhealthy diets – has increased during the pandemic.

The researchers also found COVID-19 disrupted essential public health services which people with NCDs rely on to manage their conditions.

The study, published in Frontiers in Public Health recently, reviewed the literature on the synergistic impact of COVID-19 on people with NCDs in low and middle-income countries such as Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Nigeria.

The paper, which analysed almost 50 studies, was a collaboration between UNSW and public health researchers in Nepal, Bangladesh and India.

Lead author Uday Yadav, PhD candidate under Scientia Professor Mark Harris of UNSW Medicine, said the interaction between NCDs and COVID-19 was important to study because global data showed COVID-19-related deaths were disproportionally high among people with NCDs – as the UNSW researchers confirmed.

“This illustrates the negative effect of the COVID-19 ‘syndemic’ – also known as a ‘synergistic epidemic’ – a term coined by medical anthropologist Merrill Singer in the 1990s to describe the relationship between HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and violence,” Mr Yadav said.

“We applied this term to describe the interrelationship between COVID-19 and the various biological and socio-ecological factors behind NCDs.

“So, people are familiar with COVID-19 as a pandemic, but we analysed it through a syndemic lens in order to determine the impact of both COVID-19 and future pandemics on people with NCDs.”

Mr Yadav said the COVID-19 syndemic would persist, just as NCDs affected people in the long-term.

“NCDs are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors and there is no quick fix, such as a vaccine or cure,” he said.

“So, it’s no surprise we found that NCD patients’ exposure to NCD risk factors has increased amid the pandemic, and they are more vulnerable to catching COVID-19 because of the syndemic interaction between biological and socio-ecological factors.

“The evidence we analysed also showed there was poor self-management of NCDs at a community level and COVID-19 has disrupted essential public health services which people with NCDs rely on.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


The new survey of 7000-plus Australians also suggests a lack of awareness about automated external defibrillators. Nearly one in three people had never heard of the lifesaving device often found in public places such as shopping centres, schools and gyms.

The Heart Foundation has released its results on Restart a Heart Day to spread the word that anyone can use an AED to help save a life, without fear they will cause greater harm to the patient.

Early CPR and access to a defibrillator can significantly increase your chances of surviving a cardiac arrest, which is when a person’s heart stops beating. The patient will become unconscious and stop breathing normally, or at all.

A defibrillator checks the heart rhythm and can apply a measured electric shock to restore the heart to its normal rhythm. It will only deliver a shock if necessary, which means you cannot hurt someone by using a defibrillator.

The key findings of this year’s survey of 7200 Australian adults include:

  • 52% would not feel confident using an AED if they thought someone was having a cardiac arrest, while 41% would feel confident.
  • 60% had heard of an AED; 32% had not; and 8% were unsure.
  • Women were less likely to feel confident about using an AED than men (38% versus 45%).
  • Young adults were more likely to feel confident about using an AED than older Australians.

Heart Foundation General Manager of Heart Health, Bill Stavreski, urged Australians not to feel hesitant about using the lifesaving device in an emergency.
There’s a fear factor around defibrillators, but they are designed to be user-friendly and you don’t need to have medical training to help save a life.
“The step-by-step recorded instructions will guide you, and even if it turns out the person is not having a cardiac arrest, using the AED will not hurt them.”

Few people will survive a cardiac arrest without immediate treatment. About 25,000 people have a cardiac arrest out of hospital each year in Australia, but it is estimated as few as 5% will survive to be discharged from hospital.

“You should call 000 for an ambulance immediately if you think someone is in cardiac arrest. Check for a response and if they are breathing. If they aren’t, use an AED if one is available. If not, start CPR with chest compressions – you don’t need to use mouth-to-mouth if you are not comfortable,” Mr Stavreski said.

“Bystanders can be reluctant to step in if they haven’t been trained in CPR, but any attempt at resuscitation is better than none. Time is everything, because for every minute without defibrillation to restart the heart, chances of surviving drop by 10 per cent.”

Three in four cardiac arrests are caused by heart events, such as a heart attack, or underlying heart conditions.

We encourage more Australians to learn what action they can take to save someone’s life, including learning the signs of cardiac arrest and how to perform CPR, but we can all also take pre-emptive action to protect our own heart health.

“If you are 45 years and over, or from 30 if you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, talk to your GP about a Heart Health Check to understand your risk of heart disease.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


With authors from RPA (Royal Prince Alfred) Virtual Hospital and Sydney Local Health District (SLHD), the latest Perspectives Brief from AHHA’s Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research, rpavirtual: a new way of caring, was released this week.

“Established as the first virtual hospital in NSW, rpavirtual was launched in early 2020 as a sustainable solution to increasing demand for healthcare in Sydney—and then the COVID-19 crisis hit”, said RPA Virtual Hospital General Manager Miranda Shaw.

“Expanding on existing digital infrastructure and workforce, rpavirtual was able to implement its COVID-19 model of care in just six days.

“Within 7 months our workforce has grown from six nurses, to a multidisciplinary service of over 50 medical, nursing and allied health teams.

“One of the most remarkable features of rpavirtual has been its ability to pivot to deliver hospital type monitoring in the community using digital innovations, underpinned by robust clinical models of care,” said Ms Shaw.

“Video consults, remote monitoring technologies, escalation pathways and patient access to the Virtual Care Centre 24/7 allows our care teams to identify patient deterioration in a timely manner.

Only 6 % of rpavirtual patients who have tested positive for COVID have required hospital admission, compared to NSW hospitalisation rates of 10%.

There is also the issue of COVID-19 negative patients in quarantine who have needed complex clinical care. In the absence of rpavirtual, these patients would have required hospital presentation and admission.

“This model of virtual care has the potential to cut the number of unnecessary Emergency Department presentations, reduce a patient’s length of stay in hospital, and has the ability to empower patients, especially those with chronic illness, to lead a better quality of life,” said Ms Shaw.

“The experience of a rapidly expanding virtual health service has been eye-opening for many, including for rpavirtual’s Information and Communication services, who have played a critical role in the hospital’s patient-centred, technology-enabled design.”

Ms Verhoeven said patients accept and respond well to comprehensive, supportive care delivered though virtual technologies. The positive benefits experienced through rpavirtual should be considered by governments in the development of virtual care strategies more broadly.

“Patients rightly expect that the positive benefits experienced through virtual healthcare during COVID- 19 will continue now and into the future.”

The rpavirtual: a new way of caring Perspectives Brief is available here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


Professor Reade is an intensive care physician, anaesthetist and clinician scientist in the Australian Defence Force, since 2011 seconded to the University of Queensland as the inaugural Professor of Military Medicine and Surgery. He has deployed nine times, including twice to Afghanistan and three times to Iraq. He now holds the rank of Brigadier, responsible for specialist clinical personnel in the Australian Army. His research programs cover trauma systems design, fluid resuscitation in trauma, coagulopathy and the management of delirium in critical illness. His frozen platelet trial program, conducted with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, aims to improve worldwide access to this vital component of trauma resuscitation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


Treasurer Frydenberg opened his speech by saying ‘The Great Depression and two World Wars did not bring Australia to its knees, neither will COVID-19’.

While this has not been unexpected, the Coalition is relying on job growing policies to drive the post-COVID economy, encouraging people to reskill, small businesses to invest in people and equipment while ensuring people have more money in their pockets to reinvest into the economy.

Personal and business tax cuts round out the major announcements, with significant spending in infrastructure, health and manufacturing also announced.

October’s Budget signals the first of three major economic updates to be presented by the Treasurer in the next eight months, with a traditional Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) scheduled for mid-December and the 2021/22 Budget locked in for May 2021.

Working through key portfolio areas, we have highlighted big-ticket items and critical promises to ease your navigation of a content-heavy time in the election cycle.

A copy of the Treasurer’s 2020 Federal Budget speech can be found here.


COVID-19 has brought the Health portfolio into sharp focus and the 2020/21 Budget continues to expand on the Coalition’s commitment to ensuring Australian’s are healthy during uncertain times.

Mental health was identified by the Treasurer as an area of particular focus along with ensuring supply of personal protective equipment and a future COVID-19 vaccine.

Key announcements include:

  • $16 billion as part of the Government’s ongoing health response to COVID-19 including $808 million for the acquiring of a COVID-19 vaccine through COVAX.
  • the New Medicines Guarantee, ensuring that all new medicines are listed with uncapped funding.
  • $5.7 billion for mental health including increased funding for psychiatric services.
  • $1.6 billion for a further 23,000 additional home care packages.


One of the two pillars of Treasurer’s Budget, infrastructure spending has been brought forward to ensure that there are enough bridges, roads and rail for the Morrison Government’s ‘Road to Recovery’.

Key announcements included:

  • Expansion of the 10-year infrastructure pipeline equating to $14 billion for new and accelerated projects, including $7.53 billion in national transport infrastructure to boost the economy, deliver safer roads and create jobs.
    • In NSW, $2.7 billion in road and rail projects where relevant.
    • In VIC,  $1.1 billion in road and rail projects where relevant.
    • In QLD $1.3 billion in road and rail projects where relevant.
    • In SA, there will be $625.2 million in road and rail projects where relevant.
    • The NT will get $190 million in road and rail projects where relevant.
    • In TAS there will be a $359.6 million in road and rail projects where relevant.
    • The ACT will get $155.3 million in road and rail projects where relevant.
    • WA will get $1.1 billion in road and rail projects where relevant.
  • $355.9 million for additional aviation support.
  • $327.5 million for Perth City Deal.
  • $74.8 million for Darwin City Deal.
  • $2 billion over two years for minor scale road safety projects.
  • $1 billion over two years for the extension of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.
  • $2 billion to assist farmers who have been affected by drought and bushfires.


Building upon the JobMaker package and Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP’s changes to university education, jobs formed one of the Government’s two key pillars for the road to recovery.

Key announcements included:

  • $240 million to encourage female workforce participation including: new cadetships and apprenticeships for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, job creation and entrepreneurialism, and women’s safety at work and at home.
  • 50,000 new higher education short courses in agriculture, health, IT, science and teaching.
  • 12,000 new Commonwealth supported places for higher education in 2021.
  • 2,000 indigenous students through the Clontarf Foundation to complete Year 12 and pursue further education or find employment.


First announced by the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, last Thursday at the National Press Club, industry and advanced manufacturing has been identified as a key aspect of Australia’s economic recovery.

In addition, there have been further announcements on the Research and Development Tax Incentive as well as funding for the CSIRO.

In addition, this week also saw:

  • $1.3 billion manufacturing package, focussing on six key manufacturing priority areas: food and beverage, resources and minerals, medical products, clean energy, defence industry and space industry.
  • $2 billion for additional Research and Development tax incentives – removing the cap on refunds, lifting the rate and rewarding those businesses that invest the most.
  • $459 million in additional funding to the CSIRO.


In addition to the infrastructure and jobs packages, the Government announced measures to ensure that more money remains in the pockets of Australians.

This also included an extension to the Instant Asset Write-Off to ensure small businesses can purchase new and upgrade existing equipment.

Key announcements included:

  • Stage 2 of the previously legislated tax cuts, extending the 19% bracket from $37,000 to $45,000 and the 32.5% bracket from $90,000 to $120,000.
  • $26.7 b for an extension of the Instant Asset Write-Off for business with turnover <$5 billion.
  • Establishment of ‘YourSuper’ designed to reduce waste in the superannuation industry and saving Australians $17.9 billion.


Tourism and Trade took a backseat in this Budget, but the industry was not forgotten, with a specific focus on regional tourism.

Key announcements included:

  • $233 million to upgrade facilities in Uluru, Kakadu, Christmas Island and Booderee National Park.
  • $350 million to support regional tourism to attract domestic visitors back to the regions and a further round of the Building Better Regions Fund.


On 22 September, the Hon Angus Taylor MP, announced that five technologies will receive prioritized support under its Technology Roadmap.

Key announcements included:

  • $18 million will be spent via the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the emissions reduction fund and environmental grants. The targeted government investment will focus on clean hydrogen energy storage, low-carbon steel and aluminium, carbon capture and storage and soil carbon.
  • $52.9 million package to tap into Australia’s gas supply.
  • $1.5 billion over four years to sustain and encourage local manufacturing and private investments including clean energy.
  • $40 million funding package and $20 million will be invested in coastal ecosystems under a federal government COVID economy recovery plan.


This week saw the final sitting week before the release of the Federal Budget on 2 April 2019, with a formidable round of Senate Estimates defining the tone on the hill.

Key announcements included:

  • $2.6 billion over three years for two $250 payments to be made from November 2020 and early 2021 for recipients of the age pension, Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment, Family Tax Benefit, Carer Allowance, Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card Holders, eligible Veterans Affair’s payment recipients and health cardholders.
  • $15.6 billion in 2020-21 due to the relaxation of the JobKeeper eligibility requirement, with companies only having to prove their turnover was sufficiently effected in the previous quarter.
  • $4 billion dollars over three years, $200 dollars per week if they hire somebody between 16-29 and $100 per week if they are between 30-35. Employees hired via the subsidy must increase the overall employment of any given business.
  • $2 billion over five years to relax the JobSeeker partner income test taper
  • $798.8 million for quality and safeguards commission over four years, supporting half a million patients on the NDIS.


With the Australian Government reaching and exceeding its goal of 2 per cent of GDP assigned to the 2020 Defence Strategic Update, Defence took a back seat during this year’s Budget:

Key announcements included:

  • $1.5 billion over four years to sustain and encourage local manufacturing and private investments including in defence and space. Defence was also one of the advanced manufacturing areas identified by the Prime Minister as an industry of critical strategic growth.
  • The acquisition of new capabilities represents 40% of the total defence budget in 2020-21, headlined by the Navy’s construction of the Hunter Class Frigates and Attack Class submarines.


Part of the Government’s broader Infrastructure and Regional Development plan, funding commitments for further agriculture and water infrastructure were made in this year’s Budget.

Key announcements included:

  • $2 billion in concessional loans to help farmers overcome the devastating drought
  • $350 million to support regional tourism to attract domestic visitors back to the regions and a further round of the Building Better Regions Fund, and
  • $317 million for Australian exporters to continue to access global supply chains, building on the 80,000 tonnes of exports the government have already helped get to market.
  • $567 million for the Wyangala and Dungowan dams with our investment totalling.
  • $2 billion in new funding to build vital water infrastructure across the country as part of the national water grid including dams, weirs and pipelines.


Other key announcements which cross multiple portfolios included:

  • $201.5 million over four years for the previously announced 2020 Cyber Security Strategy as well as $128 million over four years for AFP, Home Affairs and AUSTRAC.
  • $238 million over the first four years and $39 million in subsequent years for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.
  • An additional $129 million for the Relief and Recovery Fund to tackle projects of importance.
  • $796 million for the Digital Business Plan to encourage digital transformation in the private sector.


THis budget analysis and overview Was PROVIDED BY THE TEAM AT NEXUS PUBLIC AFFAIRS.



[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The JobMaker plan has the potential to not only create thousands of jobs but also create the new jobs of the future. The MedTech industry already employs 19,000 innovators, experts, researchers, manufacturers, and medical technicians, and the pro-growth policies set out in this year’s Budget will further support the industry’s growth and capabilities in Australia.

The Budget also addresses the harsh realities of a once in a 100-year global pandemic, which has sadly claimed the lives of 894 of our fellow Australians. However, unlike many other countries around the world, Australia’s successful response in handling the COVID-19 pandemic is thanks, in no small part, to the outstanding collaboration between governments and the MedTech industry which rose to the occasion, supplying 7,500 ventilators, over 7.7 million COVID-19 tests and other essential medical equipment.

In August, MTAA submitted to the Government 18 policy priorities to supercharge Australia’s COVID- 19 recovery. Today we welcome the Government’s adoption of, in full 3 policies and in part, a further 4 policies.

MTAA’s budget submission recommended the Government upgrade the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) IT Systems. With the Morrison Government’s announcement of $12 million, this will now become a reality. The digital transformation of the TGA will ensure that they can fulfil their role, including performing activities such as applications tracking and status transparency. It will also provide information in a usable format and improve the ability to search and link various TGA databases. MTAA CEO, Mr Ian Burgess, said “The TGA IT systems were from 1998, and hampered interactions between the MedTech industry and the TGA. This investment in upgrading the system will ensure the TGA is best able to approve life-changing and lifesaving medical technology innovations.”

The Budget also solidified the Government’s earlier announcement of a comprehensive energy policy. MTAA called on the Government to develop an all-inclusive energy policy with a particular focus on the needs of manufacturing with an aim to provide long term certainty and lower energy costs.

“This Budget provides a solid foundation for energy pricing, we know this could give MedTech manufacturers the prices they need to manufacture lifesaving and life-changing medical devices in Australia,” Mr Burgess said.

The announcement of the $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy is a clear indication of the Government’s commitment to ensuring Aussie Manufacturing, particularly MedTech, can continue to be a global leader.

“More than half of Australian medical device companies have grown from local start-ups, so this budget will make an important impact where it is needed most, shoring up Australia’s MedTech innovators now and into the future,” Mr Burgess said.

The Treasurer also announced home and community-based care reforms allowing alternative care pathways when clinically appropriate. This will include mental health and general rehabilitation services, including orthopaedics. Home and community-based care was a key recommendation in MTAA’s pre-budget submission.

Mr Burgess said “Tonight’s announcement of further support for home and community-based care comes after sustained advocacy from MTAA. MTAA hope the proposed changes will ensure Australian’s can receive the care they need it, where it best suits them.”

This Budget included $3.3 billion for the COVID National Medical Stockpile. MTAA’s Pre-budget Submission recommended government replenish and further build the National Medical Stockpile with a portion of locally manufactured essential items. This includes $9.2 million for increasing onshore mask manufacturing capability.

The Government also announced a total of $2.4 billion in telehealth services. MTAA provided an extensive recommendation to Government calling upon Government to continue to reimburse telehealth services after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

“During COVID-19 the Government asked MedTech to supply 7,500 ventilators, the MedTech industry did this. Today this has been recognised with 7 budget submission recommendations included in this Budget” Mr Burgess said. “This budget will help to improve Australians’ access to innovative Medical Technology.”

MTAA supports the measures the Treasurer has today outlined, which, we believe, will improve Australians access to the best and latest medical technologies they need and can distribute these to the world.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

HBF Cancels Health Insurance Premiums Hike


The campaign was launched ahead of the October 1 health insurance premium hikes.

HBF’s commitment to a ZERO increase in premiums puts it in stark contrast to other Corporate Health Insurers who are expected to raise their premiums during a time when Aussie families are still struggling.

The Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) has claimed Corporate Health Insurers have raked in gross mega-COVID-profits of $1.03 billion during the pandemic at the same time as cutting the actual benefits customers are receiving by $600 million, over the last 12 months.

MTAA has publicly called out Corporate Health Insurers, asking: “If HBF can cancel their premium increases, why can’t the rest of Corporate Health Insurers do the same?”

MTAA is maintaining its call for the Private Health Insurance Industry to “put people before profits”.


Corporate Health Insurers Raise Premiums

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Corporate health insurers are being accused of increasing their premiums, not to increase patient outcomes, but rather to line their own pockets.

APRA’s mandatory private health insurance reporting data shows in the three months to June, corporate health insurers raked in gross mega-COVID-profits of $1.03 billion, despite bringing forward $1.4 billion in deferred claims, which has been labelled clever accounting to hide real profits. The data also shows a 15.8% rise in management expenses, which include employee bonuses are now at a record high of $650.1 million, every three months.

The Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) has said the Federal Government and MedTech innovators are playing their part in trying to reduce the rise of insurance premiums. Specifically, an October 2017 Agreement, between the MTAA and Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, was signed to provide Australians with private health insurance a saving of $1.1 billion in payments for medical devices, over four years.

Private Healthcare Australia (PHA), the industry lobby group for corporate health insurers, have said that a reduction in device prices would lead to a decrease in insurance costs. Despite this claim and the signed Agreement, it appears corporate health insurers are continuing to raise their premiums for struggling families, regardless of the MedTech industry’s $1.1 billion olive branch.

Professor for Health Economics at the University of Melbourne, Yuting Zhang, recently wrote “the reasons insurance companies are using to justify their price rise don’t stack up”.

Not all insurers seem to be rising their premiums. HBF and some smaller funds have decided to cancel their 2020 premium increases, knowing that during COVID-19, it is not the time to make it harder for their customers.

MTAA CEO, Ian Burgess, has called on corporate insurers to ditch their premium increases and return the money to families who need it most.

“MTAA and the Government delivered $1.1 Billion in savings, now is the time to pass this on in full: insurers must forgo their premium increase, give money back to Aussie Mums and Dads – it’s time they put people before profits.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Digital transformation to deliver more timely medicines for Australians and improve patient safety

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Government is investing $12 million over four years to digitise, transform and modernise the TGA’s business systems and infrastructure, better connecting services to get medicines and devices to patients sooner.

New digital processes will deliver simpler and faster interactions between industry and government. This means earlier approvals of medical products, reduced administrative effort, and timelier decision-making by the TGA.

Under this Deregulation Agenda, the Government has said focused on ensuring regulation is and remains fit-for-purpose – making it easier to do business while ensuring essential safeguards with the lightest touch.

This measure will yield a significant reduction in red tape, cutting costs for the medicines and medical devices industry. It will also position Australia to more quickly access emerging and new health technologies in the international market.

The TGA receives around 26,000 applications every year for medicines and medical devices to be listed or amended on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), which allows them to be imported, sold and used in Australia.

The digital changes will enable simpler and more secure interactions between Government and industry to apply for, track, pay, and manage listings for regulated and subsidised health related products and services.

The TGA receives 15,000 adverse drug reaction reports on patient safety per year which are entered manually through PDF rather than through a central database.

With these reforms, medical companies will now be able to use an electronic database to report these patients safety events with automatic data transfer – saving them up to 15 minutes per report.

All Australians will benefit from a streamlined process which increases the timeliness of decisions on the safety, quality and efficacy of therapeutic goods, and their approval for listing on the ARTG.

Consumers and health care professionals can also have greater confidence in the safety and efficacy of therapeutic goods, with increased transparency built into the reforms.”

Cyber security will also be bolstered to ensure the protection of commercial-in-confidence information from industry.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The COVID Screen Audit study has been published in Australian Health Review, the journal of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Associations (AHHA).

Research team leader and professor at the University of Melbourne, David Story, said the study analysed the admission records of 2,197 patients who underwent elective and non-elective surgery at two major Melbourne hospitals between 1 April and 10 May 2020.

“Despite the national imperative to screen for COVID and communicate the results, the documenting of COVID-19 screening fell short of our proposed lower acceptable limited on 85% in almost all surgical groups,” Professor Story said.

“We are not saying screening wasn’t done – that that the information wasn’t readily available for clinical teams caring for some patients.

“The percentages of surgery patients observed to have had both COVID-19 screening and temperature documented could be improved, from 72% among elective patients and 38% among non-elective patients.”

The study found that documenting screening varied markedly across surgical groups. In particular, it found that non-elective surgical patients had the lowest rate of documenting and also the highest rate of COVID-19 related history and signs.

Identifying surgical patients with SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease is important for several reasons, including that patients with COVID-19 may have more complications and greater mortality after surgery. COVID-19 may also further increase the already increased risk for complications and mortality among non-elective patients.

Professor Story added that the results of the COVID Screen Audit were likely to apply to other Australian hospitals, and noted both hospital had instituted far more rigorous documenting during Victoria’s second wave of the pandemic.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]