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.
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.
Hepatitis Australia is currently developing a campaign to reach baby boomers and other community groups who may have been missed in past hepatitis C awareness raising efforts.
Almost eight out of ten people living with hepatitis C are not current injecting drug users. Although the majority of Australians who acquire hepatitis C did so through unsafe injecting, 67 per cent (124,590) of them are no longer injecting drug users.
Close to 230,000 people were living with hepatitis C at the end of 2015. Of these, 25,000 (11%) were born overseas in regions of high prevalence and almost 16,000 (7%) contracted the virus through transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products, unsterile medical procedures, or mother-to-child transmission.
One of the key planks of Australia’s hepatitis C elimination strategy is increasing treatment through management by General Practitioners (GPs), making it easier for individuals to receive treatment and facilitating access to hard-to-reach communities.
GP training programs have been rolled out across the country and GP prescribing had increased from 8 per cent in March to 31 per cent in December. However, most prescribing (62 per cent) are still by specialists and GP prescriptions in South Australia, Northern Territory, ACT and Victoria are significantly below average.