Health Minister Sussan Ley is all set to drive Hepatitis C away from Australia. After confirming budget cuts to pathology and diagnostic services Australia by the Turnbull government, Ms. Ley revealed that it has been done to fund a $1 billion cure for Hepatitis C. The reduction of bulk-billing incentives led pathology and diagnostics service providers in Australia threaten the government with a co-payment charge for the services. Now Australians will have to pay $173 for scans and x-rays and $20 for a blood test.

According to, the budget cuts were also done to fund four Hepatitis C new treatments in Australia that would mainly help prisoners and drug addicts recover.

“This demonstrates that the government is prepared to make the tough decisions to prioritise where we should put our health dollar in Australia,” Ms. Ley said in Canberra.

About 230,000 Australians suffer from Hepatitis C and eight out of ten suffer because of “unsafe injecting drug use practices,” states the Fourth National Hepatitis C Strategy 2014-2017 report.

Read Researchers develop one-step test to detect hepatitis C.

Australians with Hepatitis C will no longer require spending $100,000 on a course of treatment for the disease. The Federal Government has announced a $1 billion funding to reduce cost of four “miracle treatments,” reports About 90 per cent of the patients are cured of the Hepatitis C virus if they avail these treatments. Generally the course takes 8 to 12 weeks.

Ms. Ley feels that the burden of the sorry condition of Australia’s healthcare will be lifted as a result of the funding. She also stated that Australia will be one of the first countries in the world to publicly reduce the cost of the cures and the programme will attempt eradicating Hepatitis C virus within a generation.

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will list multiple drug combinations such as Ribavirin (Ibavyr), Daclatasvir (Daklinza), Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) and Sofosbuvir with ledipasvir (Harvoni) from March 01, 2016. The co-payment will come in at $37.70 for general patients and $6.10 concession price.

Catherine King, Labor Opposition health spokesman has opposed the cut and the party will vote against the cut.

“It’s an absurd proposition to make cancer patients, and people with diabetes and other serious health conditions pay for the drugs needed by other seriously ill patients,” King said.

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