More than 70,000 Victorians currently live with chronic hepatitis C. If left untreated, chronic hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and death.
Direct acting antiviral treatments (DAAs) have been available since March 2016, and have enabled more and more Victorians to cure chronic hepatitis C infection in a matter of months, most often with with little to no side effects. Since the introduction of DAAs to the PBS, more than 15,000 Victorians have received treatment for chronic hepatitis C, but more needs to be done to reduce the burden and impact of this disease, particularly within vulnerable population groups.
GPs and nurse practitioners can prescribe DAA treatments, and manage the hepatitis C screening and treatment process easily in the primary care setting.
Managing hepatitis C in primary care
Our PHN supports primary care providers to manage hepatitis C through regular education and training. Use the links below to access online training or to register for upcoming events.
- Online learning – Curing hep C – Your role as a GP (RACGP 2 category 2 points)
- VHHITAL – Victorian HIV and Hepatitis Integrated Training and Learning
- Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) resources:
- PBS General Statement for Drugs for the Treatment of Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis C medication update – webinar for pharmacists
- HealthPathways Melbourne
Primary care application for HCV treatment
GPs can use this template to consult with a gastroenterologist, hepatologist or infectious disease physician, in order to prescribe new treatments under the PBS. The template includes direct referral fax numbers relevant to the NWMPHN and EMPHN catchments and is adapted from the GESA remote consultation form. The template is a fillable PDF.
- AST to Platelet Ratio Index (APRI) Calculator: This tool calculates a patient’s AST to Platelet Ratio Index.
- Drug Interactions: Checks for drug interactions between drugs used to treat and those used for other indications.
- Liver Clinics and Units in Australia
- Be free from Hep C: General and treatment information for people living with hepatitis C
- LiverWell: Easy to use tools aimed at keeping your liver well
Hepatitis C medicines fact sheets for consumers
- Facts for consumers
- Hep C Prevention for Injecting Drug Users: Information on safer injecting practices
- Hep C: Good News About Treatment (patient resource available in English, Simplified Chinese and Vietnamese)
Need more assistance?
Nurse consultants from Royal Melbourne Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital are available to assist GPs with remote consultations and prescribing the direct-acting antiviral agents.
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Integrated Hepatitis C Clinical Nurse Consultant
Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, Melbourne Health
The Doherty Institute
Level 5, 792 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
M: 0407 574 939 | F: 03 8344 1222
St Vincent’s Melbourne
Hepatology Clinical Nurse Consultant
Department of Gastroenterology, St Vincent’s Melbourne
Level 4 Daly Wing, 41 Victoria Parade
Fitzroy VIC 3065
T: 03 9231 2171 | M: 0407 511 299 | f: 03 9231 3596