From: "Meryl Dorey" <>

Can you spell " D-O-U-B-L-E- S-T-A-N-D-A-R-D" boys and girls? ;-)


Hep B test not a must for doctors

( The Mercury (Tasmania, Australia) )


Hep B test not a must for doctors




THE Australian Medical Association does not insist on doctors having hepatitis B tests or vaccinations, says the association's state president Bryan Walpole. But Dr Walpole said yesterday Tasmanian doctors and health professionals had a personal responsibility to ensure they were not carrying a communicable disease.

He said he believed all doctors took the responsibility very seriously.

Dr Walpole said the AMA had set down its policy on communicable diseases seven or eight years ago but had not adopted mandatory testing.

However, he said the time was coming when health care institutions might institute a ``no test, no start'' policy, which had been adopted by British hospitals.

General practitioners who were not performing medical procedures were in a low-risk area for contracting or passing on the disease to their patients.

``There is more chance of a patient having an adverse drug reaction than getting hepatitis B from their doctor,'' he said.

The Royal Hobart Hospital revealed yesterday that two more women had tested positive to hepatitis B, although it was unrelated to the infected hospital health worker.

Four women and a baby now have tested positive. A fifth woman, as revealed in The Mercury yesterday, is expected to be added to the official list tomorrow, after undergoing counselling for a positive test.

All have cleared the virus from their bodies and have immunity to the disease.

Hospital laboratories have completed 593 tests with hospital chief executive Pat Martin saying yesterday 68 people were yet to be tracked


``If we knew where to contact them we would contact them, so our problem is we don't know where to contact them,'' Ms Martin said.

``So we are still appealing for people who have moved address since they were in hospital to get in touch with us.''

She said the hospital expected all tests which could be conducted in Hobart to be completed by the end of the week.

``We are still waiting for test results to come in from interstate and I would think that would come in over the next week or so,'' Ms Martin said.

``It will be a couple of weeks before we can finally say we have received all test results.''

She said the two positive tests released yesterday were unrelated to the infected health worker.

Ms Martin said six positive tests from about 600 people tested was ``spot on'' with the national prevalence of hepatitis B in the community

at about 1%.

STEVEN DALLY, Hep B test not a must for doctors. , The Mercury (Tasmania,

Australia), 02-09-2000, pp 005.