Gippsland Primary Health Network (Gippsland PHN) has partnered with 19 local general practices to boost screening rates for bowel, breast and cervical cancer, and testing for hepatitis B and C.
A report by the University of Melbourne, prepared from the Victoria Department of Health, shows the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed patients’ screening and diagnostic appointments, contributing to a 30 per cent reduction in cancer notifications since restrictions were applied in Victoria in 2020.
Gippsland PHN Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Proposch, said these decreases had significant public health implications for vulnerable population groups and the general community.
“General practice is central to increasing cancer screening participation rates,” Ms Proposch explained. “Research has found the use of GP-endorsed letters, recall and reminder systems, and improved clinical information systems are key drivers to increasing the number of people undertaking cancer screening.”