Bill 5 2016
An Act to amend the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Act in respect of Hepatitis C
Approximately 110,000 Ontarians are afflicted with hepatitis C. Nearly half of those individuals living with hepatitis C are unaware they are infected. Individuals can live with hepatitis C for many years without realizing the virus is damaging their liver. If left untreated, hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, the need for a liver transplant or death.
However, hepatitis C is curable. New treatments have a 95 per cent effectiveness rate in curing individuals with hepatitis C. However, obtaining access to these new treatments in Ontario requires an individual to meet restrictive clinical criteria that demand that an individual's liver be at stage 2 or greater of fibrosis before the individual is eligible for publicly-funded treatment.
Ontario can take a leadership role in ending the single most burdensome infectious disease in Canada by allowing all individuals access to these new highly effective treatments no matter the stage of the disease.
Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. Subsection 6 (1) of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Act is amended by adding the following paragraph:
12. To ensure that any treatment recommended by a physician for a patient with hepatitis C is provided to the patient irrespective of the degree or amount of liver damage sustained by the patient.
2. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
3. The short title of this Act is the Greater Access to Hepatitis C Treatment Act, 2016.
The Bill amends the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Act to set out an additional duty for the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care with respect to patients with hepatitis C.