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Keywords:

  • delivery of health care, barriers to care;
  • health services accessibility;
  • hepatitis C/therapy

Abstract

Despite the availability of highly effective therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, few patients receive treatment. Barriers arising at multiple levels, from diagnosis to specialist referral, may impede the delivery of hepatitis C care. At the patient level, lack of awareness, fear of side effects, poor adherence and comorbid conditions may prevent treatment. For providers, limited knowledge, lack of availability and communication difficulties may be problematic. At the government and payer level, a lack of promotion, surveillance and funding may interfere. Each of these barriers needs to be addressed if wider implementation of antiviral therapy is to be achieved.