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Hepatitis C 'Parliamentary Champions' group established in Scottish Parliament

For many years, Scotland has led the rest of the world in tackling hepatitis C.

The Hepatitis C Action Plan and the Sexual Health and Blood-Borne Virus Framework (SHBBV) from successive Scottish Governments have radically improved the way in which the virus is managed and treated in the country. With the renewal of the SHBBV due in 2015, and with the new advances in treatment for hepatitis C, it is a hugely exciting time for all individuals and organisations working on the issue in Scotland.

The Hepatitis C Trust is committed to ensuring that patients’ voices are represented in Scotland. We are therefore delighted to announce the formation of our Parliamentary Champions group in the Scottish Parliament. Comprising of a cross-party selection of MSPs, the Champions will work to ensure that hepatitis C is not allowed to slip off the political agenda in Scotland. Through working closely with The Hepatitis C Trust, patients and relevant experts, the group will seek to represent the best interests of people with hepatitis C in Scotland.

The Parliamentary Champions include:

  • Jackie Baillie, Labour MSP for Dumbarton
  • Jackson Carlaw, Conservative MSP for West of Scotland
  • Bob Doris, SNP MSP for Glasgow
  • Hanzala Malik, Labour MSP for Glasgow
  • Aileen McLeod, SNP MSP for South Scotland
  • Nanette Milne, Conservative MSP for North East Scotland
  • Kevin Stewart, SNP MSP for Aberdeen Central

Charles Gore, Chief Executive of The Hepatitis C Trust, said: “The establishment of the Parliamentary Champions group shows that MSPs really do understand the importance of tackling hepatitis C in Scotland. As a significant health inequalities issue, it is imperative that Scotland continues with the excellent progress that has already been made, and ensures that this treatable, curable virus no longer affects the lives of tens of thousands of people in Scotland.”

Kevin Stewart MSP said: “I am absolutely delighted to be a part of the Parliamentary Champions group. Hepatitis C is a virus that affects nearly 40,000 people in Scotland, yet it is preventable, treatable and curable. As a Parliamentary Champion, I am committed to working with fellow members of the group to ensure that the voices of those with the virus are represented in the Scottish Parliament."

Aileen McLeod MSP said: "As a Parliamentary Champion, I am committed to working with fellow members of the group to ensure that the voices of those with the virus are represented in the Scottish Parliament.”