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Women At Risk Of Hepatitis C Contacted

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Women At Risk Of Hepatitis C Contacted

Calls for women at risk of hepatitis C following treatment at a private medical clinic in Australia have prompted a positive response. Ministry of Health Deputy Director of Public Health Dr Fran McGrath says the Ministry stepped in last week to help its Australian counterparts contact New Zealand women treated at Melbourne's Croydon day surgery centre when the Australians reported difficulties in contacting women here.

As a result of the media coverage and advertisements at the weekend there has been considerable progress.

There have been 59 calls to Healthline and 49 calls transferred to the Australian hepatitis C helpline where women find out if they have any risk of hepatitis C linked to an infected doctor and hepatitis C disease in a significant number of patients.

Dr McGrath says women who are confirmed as being at risk as a result of treatment at Croydon Day Surgery clinic between January 2006 and December 2009 are then referred to a New Zealand specialist for testing, counselling and treatment if required.

"I have considerable sympathy for these women, who through no fault of their own may have been exposed to a significant health risk, along with the added stress of public interest in their predicament."

"I can't emphasise enough that this is a sensitive and concerning situation and the Ministry of Health here and health authorities in Australia are being careful to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the women involved", Dr McGrath says.

"Our priority remains to encourage women to come forward so they can be tested and treated if needed. Anyone treated at the Croydon Day Surgery clinic between January 2006 and December 2009 should ring Healthline on 0800 611 116."

The Ministry is aware that testing has now begun of New Zealand women treated at the Melbourne clinic, but the Ministry does not currently have reliable information about the numbers tested, nor any results.

The Ministry will provide a further update in a week's time.

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