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Hepatitis C action plan for Scotland: Phase II (May 2008 - March 2011)

Goldberg, D.J. and Brown, G. and Hutchinson, S.J. and Dillon, J. and Taylor, A. and Howie, G. and Ahmed, S. and Roy, K. (2008) Hepatitis C action plan for Scotland: Phase II (May 2008 - March 2011). Eurosurveillance, 13 (4-6). pp. 1-2. ISSN 1560-7917

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In 2004, the Scottish Government recognised that 'Hepatitis C is one of the most serious and significant public health risks of our generation' [1] . By December 2006, Health Protection Scotland (HPS) estimated that 50,000 people in Scotland had been infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and that 38,000 were chronic carriers (Figure 1) [2]. Following an extensive consultation in 2005, the Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer launched Scotland's 'Action Plan for Hepatitis C' in September 2006 [3]. Its aims are to prevent the spread of hepatitis C, particularly among intravenous drug users (IDUs), to diagnose hepatitis C-infected people, particularly those who would most benefit from treatment; and to ensure that those infected receive optimal treatment, care and support. The plan is a two-phased one. Phase I, undertaken during September 2006 to March 2008, involved increasing awareness about hepatitis C among professionals and gathering evidence through numerous surveys and other investigations to inform proposals for the development of hepatitis C services during Phase II (2008-2011)[4]. This paper presents the key findings of the evidence gathering exercise, recommended actions stemming from the evidence and funding associated with the actions.