Hospital da Luz focuses on treatment of hepatitis C
Illnesses caused by the hepatitis B and C viruses are having an ever greater impact on our societies and represent a significant financial burden for governments. According to the World Health Organization they are responsible for around 57% of cases of cirrhosis of the liver and 78% of cases of liver cancer. It is estimated that 2% to 3% of the world's population is infected by hepatitis C.
In Portugal, the number of cases has also seen an increase and it is calculated that between 100,000 and 150,000 people are infected with hepatitis C. However, only around 30% have been diagnosed, and it is also estimated that the respective treatment has annual medical costs of around one hundred million euros.
It was against this background that the Hospital da Luz decided to create the new therapeutic hepatology consultation, which has now been in operation from the start of July last year. We are the first private hospital in Portugal to provide this type of accompaniment for patients.
With this new service, patients suffering from hepatitis have all of the hepatitis therapies available at the Hospital da Luz. This includes the new drugs for hepatitis C recently launched on to the Portuguese market which increase cure rates from the current 45% to over 90%.