This session was focused on the "whole system approach" and working together to deliver care to people living with HCV.
HCV affects more than 250,000 Australians resulting in up to 630 deaths from liver cancer and liver failure each year. Globally, more than 500,000 people die from HCV related causes. How can we work together with research organisation, policy makers, primary care providers, community and affected populations to change the course of HCV infection and its impact as a public health threats?
The speaker, Dr Jacqui Richmond, gave us a fantastic introduction to motivate me as a primary care provider to manage HCV in my general practice setting. In the past, there were not many primary care practitioners who wanted to be involved in HCV care in the community due to multi-factorial barriers and lack of clinical infrastructure.
With the advent of well-tolerated, short duration, interferon free DAA therapy, there is an opportunity to increase accessibility to treatment by providing care in the community setting.
Jacqui gave us very informative talk about how to deliver health services to people living with hepatitis C. Hepatitis C elimination will not occur without a whole of system approach. Elimination will not occur without GPs, nurses,community-based workers, peer workers, pharmacists, aboriginal health workers and CALD workers. Our implementation plan is to utilise a health system framework to increase demand through health promotion, increase clinical capacity through training and education, streamline clinical pathways to increase access to hepatitis C testing & treatment in the community & prison settings, establish integrated HCV prevalence and incidence over time, pilot and evaluate new interventions to increase uptake of HCV testing & treatment.
Many hands make light work. A partnership approach is the only solution. We are at the beginning of a long journey, hepatitis C is not going to be prioritised by every health professional po. We are competing for the attention of health professionals against well-resourced diseases and organisations. TOGETHER we are stronger.
Link through to Jacqui's presentation here.