Anne Mctaggart MSP yesterday spoke of her desire to see hepatitis C eradicated from Scotland during a member’s debate at the Scottish Parliament on the issue.
An estimated 39,000 people in Scotland, many unknowingly, are infected with the hepatitis C virus, with over half of these in the Glasgow and Greater Clyde area. It also disproportionally affects people from poor communities across the country, with 75% of sufferers coming from the lowest two socioeconomic quintiles.
Speaking in the debate Ms McTaggart said:
“I am pleased to have the opportunity this evening to contribute to the debate because hepatitis C is an on-going concern to many of my constituents in Glasgow.
“Although Scotland has made progress with the hepatitis C action plan and the inclusion of the hepatitis C virus in “The Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework 2011-2015”, which is internationally acclaimed, there is still more to be done. Recent treatment targets have not been met and further action is required. If such action is not taken, hepatitis C will remain a significant public health concern and will result in higher rates of liver disease and cancer at great cost to individuals and the health service.
“Hepatitis C is preventable, treatable and curable for the majority of patients. With new and more effective drug treatments soon to be available, hepatitis C can be eliminated from Scotland provided that there is a Scottish Government commitment to doing so and to prolonging lives, including those of my constituents.”
You can read Ms McTaggart’s speech here.