Fifty General Practitioners (GPs) from around Australia gathered to share their experiences and workshop strategies for eliminating hepatitis C in their communities the day before the #AVHEC19 conference.
Presentations were wide-ranging, and captured an impressive variety of experiences and view-points. Delegates heard from General Practitioners who prescribe treatment for patients with hepatitis C in capital cities, rural Australia, Aboriginal Medical Services, mental health services, and the back of a Kombi van.
Scientia Professor Greg Dore of the Kirby Institute gave a comprehensive overview of treatment uptake in Australia, in the context of global hepatitis C elimination goals. Dr Charan Jeet, a General Practitioner from Sydney, provided the valuable yet rarely-heard perspective of the GP who wants to be a part of the fight for hep C elimination, but doesn’t quite know how to start. Those of us working to increase treatment rates in primary care settings stand to benefit from hearing more from Dr Jeet and others like him.
Last year’s Forum featured the launch of the ‘Aus GPs End Hep C’ pledge statement, which laid out goals for GP participation in hepatitis C elimination. This year’s event ended on a high note, as Dr Joss O’Loan, a GP from Brisbane’s Kombi Clinic, lead the delegates in celebration of progress made towards one of those goals; an estimated 17% of Australian GPs have now written a script for direct acting antiviral hep C treatment, up from only 10% the previous year.
In the words of Dr Eben Viljoen, a GP who travelled from South Australia to attend the forum:
“A great day of learning from some inspiring speakers fighting for #AusGPsEndHepC – now to become a Hep C champion!”