General Practitioner, NT
Reflections on hepatitis B: Australian Progress and Challenges
A/Prof Ben Cowie's plenary talk at AVHEC17 on the Australian Progress and challenges in Hep B was highly engaging and it is certainly true that the migration laws in Australia have been discriminatory with regards to hep B patients who may be rejected for a permanent residency.
He also highlighted the importance of testing people from high risk countries and Indigenous background, and stressed the role of primary care practitioners who are at the forefront and are in the best position to identify who needs monitoring and who needs treatment.
Another issue he mentioned with regards to GPs who have patients with chronic hep b but are untreated or maybe under monitored is the possibility of litigation down the track if these patients develop cirrhosis or cancer. It is an important issue that might just be one of the things that can drive uninterested GPs to increase their awareness and treatment of this chronic disease.