Australians have but a few days left to choose for themselves whether or not they want to have an electronic health record created for them. The opt-out deadline approaches amidst calls for a further extension by the Senate Inquiry report, the Australian Privacy Foundation, opposition parties, clinicians and lawyers.
Australian researchers have found a way to predict the risk of liver cancer in people with chronic hepatitis B, promising earlier diagnosis, better management and potentially better prevention of hepatitis B- related liver cancer.
For some time now scientists have known that when the hepatitis B virus (HBV) replicates it leaves behind bits of its DNA in string form, different to its original circular shape. They refer to this as “splicing”. They also noticed that higher viral load results in more splicing; and retrospective examination of blood samples showed that splicing increased each year prior to the development of liver cancer.
You may have read recently that health experts in the US are concerned that the health gains made by treating people with hep C will be lost because this group is three times more likely to be smokers. While we don’t have any figures about how many people with hepatitis C smoke here in Australia, we do know from personal experience that there are many smokers among people who’ve been treated.
Thousands of South Australians are missing out on life-saving treatment that can stop serious liver disease, simply because they don’t know about new treatments or are too afraid to ask.
My Health Record is an online database, operated by the Australian Government, designed to keep all your medical records in one place. The following information – taken from a paper prepared by Hepatitis New South Wales – describes the benefits and risks of this new system. It will help you make an informed decision and give information on how to opt out if you decide you do not want a record in My Health Record.
In the final installment of our series on low salt eating for people with liver disease we look at the challenge of managing your sodium intake when you don’t prepare your own food.