Santa Clara County in California will provide free hepatitis C tests to its uninsured residents
The county Board of Supervisors approved the free testing during its January 27 meeting.
An estimated 8,000 people in Santa Cruz County are infected with the virus, but only about 1,300 of those have been tested and confirmed, according to county health officials. Many of those who have the disease and don't know it are not covered by health insurance and cannot afford the $1,600 that the tests costs.
With free tests from the county, Rama Khalsa, director of the county Health Services Agency, told the Sentinel that about 30 to 40 additional patients can be treated annually.
The county Health Services Agency will provide an update March 23 to the board of supervisors on the progress of the free laboratory tests.
Other sources: Santa Clara Sentinel (January 28, 2004)