Data overview

This report presents data up to the first quarter of 2021-22 (the quarter ending September 2021) and represents an update of the MBS and PBS data published in September 2021. As PBS data is reported based on the date the medicine was supplied to the patient, a lag period was applied to ensure the completeness of the data, which is why data is reported up to September 2021.

The following data visualisations show the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated measures on the MBS and PBS service use since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 compared with periods in the previous years. The visualisations display the:

  • Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) by presenting the number of MBS services and Government benefits paid, and
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) by presenting the number of prescriptions dispensed and Government benefits paid.

Events that may have impacted on service use over the period March 2020 to September 2021 across Australia, include:

  • March 2020 – national lockdown introduced
  • June 2020 – second wave of COVID-19 cases in Victoria
  • August 2020 – Lockdown in Victoria
  • October 2020 – Victorian lockdown eased
  • December 2020 – outbreak of cases in Sydney’s Northern Beaches  
  • January to March 2021 – brief snap lockdowns in some states and territories to contain COVID-19 spread    
  • July to October 2021 – a series of extensive lockdowns and/or extended lockdowns in New South Wales, Victoria, and Australian Capital Territory.