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Hep C cures for country people

For many people in rural regions, hep C is tough news. Health care might be far away, and there is the feeling of less privacy in rural towns. Nurse Practitioners can screen, confirm, treat and cure HCV without the need for a Dr’s referral. Patients can self-refer or other health staff can refer a patient, for discussion and review at no cost.

Five tips about hep C cures

for Country people (in regional NSW)

1. Talking about hep C or past drug use to your family doctor or the town’s only GP is difficult.

Lots of people joke about the good old days of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll but find it really hard talking about hep C. The topic of drug use can raise red flags, and this stigmatizes hep C. Talking is even more difficult with the family doctor, who might be the town’s only GP.

A difficult conversation now might avoid a lot of pain down the track. Curing hep C will help you avoid the risk of liver failure or liver cancer.

You can book a consult with a local hepatitis outreach nurse. Treating hep C is their specialty and can be less confronting. Or book a phone consultation with a city GP, so it stays anonymous and not connected to town life.

2. People might not want to confront their past life.

You might look back to your teens or 20s as rebellious and creative years – the time in life when you left home and broke free. This was a theme of a lot of music and pop culture back in the day.

Now, you probably have a different take on life and might have a different attitude to drugs. Hep C might be an uncomfortable reminder of past times.

Don’t let discomfort threaten your future. Curing hep C will help you avoid the risk of liver failure or liver cancer. Talk to a GP or community nurse about hep C cures.

3. It is hard to discuss past drug use in a short consultation. GPs aren’t always aware of all the risk factors and may not know about testing or treatment.

Not all doctors know the same information about every illness and disease. Some doctors will feel uncomfortable talking about drug use and hep C, or may not know a lot about testing and treatment.

It can be good to shop around. Talk to a community nurse– they know all the ins and outs. They know free services, like getting PCR blood tests that confirm you still have hep C now, so need to be treated. They will help you deal with pathology labs who might ask you to pay before being tested. Ask the nurse about booking a telehealth consultation with a GP who knows about hep C from outside your region.

4. Take action – contact your local liver nurse

Across NSW, you can contact local Liver Nurses who work from regional cities and outreach to smaller towns in the district so call the nurses below to see who may be able to help you.

AlburyGeoff Bartlett0417 287 073
ArmidaleDonna deRiviere02 6767 8216
Batemans Bay / EurobodallaKaija Talviharju0427 219 874
BathurstKatherine McQuillan0407 523 838
BathurstDanielle Wolthers02 6330 5866
Broken HillClinic 908 80801632
Coffs Harbour Alex0427 401 503
DubboLaura Boundy02 58 532 547
Gunnedah / Inverell Donna deRiviere02 6767 8216
Lismore / Northern Rivers areaKrista Zohrab02 6620 7539
Lower Hunter / Greater NewcastleSuresh0409 659 849
Moree / NarrabriDonna deRiviere02 6767 8216
OrangeLea Vitiello02 63 934 800
TamworthDonna deRiviere02 6767 8216

5. Take action – phone the Hepatitis Infoline and chat about other options

  • Regional hospital liver clinic
  • Telehealth with a non-local GP
  • Telehealth with a city specialist/GP

Hepatitis Infoline1800 803 990 | open during office hours

Hepatitis Infoline live chat available every page of this website, www.hep.org.au

(This factsheet was developed by regional NSW community nurses who have experience working with liver health and hep C cures)

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