Emergis is a mental health care institution based in the Netherlands that treats over 13,000 people with psychiatric disorders each year. Emergis has a special department dedicated to offering support to people with a drug dependence (HKPD). In 2016-17 HKPD launched a hepatitis programme, run in correlation with their methadone substitution programme.
Injecting drug use is one of the main risk factors for contracting hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus can easily spread when a person comes into contact with surfaces, equipment, or objects that are contaminated with infected blood. Sharing or reusing needles and syringes therefore increases the chance of spreading the virus. In addition, any equipment, such as cookers, cottons, water, ties, and alcohol swabs, can easily become contaminated during the drug preparation process.
HKPD follows its patients from testing to treatment and is well integrated within the cascade of care for hepatitis patients in their city and region. It is targeted at sex workers, documented migrants and people who experience homelessness. HKPD offers its patients:
Information: HKPD informs its patients through various distribution materials and face-to-face conversations, with the possibility of involving peers on a voluntary basis.
- Monitoring: HKPD has a monitoring system that includes data on identified patients, and which is accessible to local health authorities.
- Testing: HKPD offers testing for patients and staff on a regular basis. HKPD uses antibody screening as its primary testing method while also providing venipuncture testing, and HCV core antigen test.
- Referral to treatment and care: If a test is positive, HKPD directs a patient to the hospital to receive adequate treatment.
- Disease management: During treatment, HKPD medical staff assist patients, providing disease self-management support and liver health monitoring, and helping patients getting prescribed medication on time as well as prescription renewal.
- Counselling: HKPD also has dedicated and qualified staff (nurses and medical doctors) for pre- and post-test counselling.
HKPD’s success relates to the services being embedded in the municipality, obtaining support from the local administration and health authorities. For example, they greatly value their collaboration with the local hospital, which is happy to assist, thus simplifying the process of providing appropriate care.
Emergis receives funding from various sources, mostly public, including statutory health insurance, governmental social programmes and, depending on the location, city councils.
Telephone: +31 (0)113 26 70 00