Hepatitis Australia - National Policy Priorities 2014-2015

 cogs forming a blood droplet

cogs forming a blood droplet


Through national leadership, advocacy, and strong partnerships Hepatitis Australia works to effect action on hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) to meet the needs of all Australians.  Hepatitis Australia values the role of people living with HBV and HCV in informing prevention, treatment and care programs.

To assist in achieving the following policy goals and to ensure a more responsive and proactive response to viral hepatitis, Hepatitis Australia will consistently seek improvements in the collection of, and access to research, surveillance and evaluation data. Emphasis will be placed on ready access to testing and diagnosis trends and treatment access and effectiveness.

National Policy Priorities

Hepatitis Australia believes the following priorities are important to elevate Australia's response to viral hepatitis and enhance the lives of people at risk of or living with HBV and HCV.

1.   Strengthening the role of prevention in Australia's response to HBV and HCV
     To achieve this Hepatitis Australia will seek:

  • The establishment of a federally funded, national hepatitis B immunisation program for all adolescents and adults who are at higher risk of infection; and
  • Increased availability of and accessibility to sterile injecting equipment through flexible programs, including via Needle and Syringe Programs in rural and regional areas and within correctional settings.

2.   Providing accessible testing for HBV and HCV within priority populations; 
      To achieve this Hepatitis Australia will seek:

  • The establishment of a model for regular liver health assessments as a strategy to identify people with chronic HBV and HCV and support ongoing monitoring of health; and
  • The development and implementation of effective models for proactive HBV case finding and follow-up with families and communities.

3.   Maximising access to treatment, management and care to support positive health outcomes for all             people living with HBV and HCV.
      To achieve this Hepatitis Australia will seek:

  • Broad-based access to newly developed and proven treatments for HCV through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme without delay;
  • Increased access to HBV treatment and management for Indigenous and relevant culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Australia; and
  • The development of a national, multidisciplinary, best practice pathway, which meets the needs of people living with HCV.

Guiding Principles

As a national peak organisation, our work informs changes to systemic policy affecting the collective of people at risk of or living with viral hepatitis, both in Australia and internationally.

The following principles guide the policy work of Hepatitis Australia:

  • An effective response to viral hepatitis is a national health priority;
  • The resourcing of Australia's response to blood-borne viruses must be based on best practice, the epidemiology and disease burden;
  • the needs and interests of the priority populations should inform policy at national level for HBV and HCV;
  • Policy changes are underpinned by the latest research and surveillance available;
  • Policy changes promote the value of health promotion and prevention education in responding to viral hepatitis;
  • Policy changes support a reduction in the stigma and discrimination experienced by people affected by viral hepatitis;
  • Working in a coordinated and collaborative manner with its members and other key stakeholders is pursued to ensure the best outcomes of its advocacy work; and 
  • Member organisations are supported to achieve local systemic changes and deliver high quality services to people living with HBV and HCV.


Guided by the 'Viral Hepatitis and Advocacy in Australia: Memorandum of Understanding' (MOU), Hepatitis Australia works in partnership with it's member organisations to regularly review it's policy priorities to ensure it considers and new developments in viral hepatitis and changes in the needs of people living with, or affected by HBV and HCV.

The National Policy Priorities document informs the work of relevant Hepatitis Australia staff under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer. A mid-term progress report and an impact report will be provided to the Hepatitis Australia Board to inform and revisions of the identified policy priorities.

Implementation will be based on the policy priorities identified but must remain flexible to accommodate new and urgent priorities and the changing circumstances within, and external to, Hepatitis Australia. As outlined in the MOU and internal policies, Hepatitis Australia may negotiate to work with member organisations to progress the goals of the National Policy Priorities document.


Page Updated: 11 September 2014