1 Global Health Center, Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland.
2 Swiss Hepatitis, c/o Arud, Schützengasse 31, Zurich, Switzerland.
3 Swiss Hepatitis, c/o Arud, Schützengasse 31, Zurich, Switzerland; Arud Centre for Addiction Medicine, Schützengasse 31, Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Driven by the increasing evidence of the public health burden of viral hepatitis and the passivity of the health authorities, the Swiss Hepatitis Strategy (SHS) was launched by private initiative with the vision of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030. The strategy applied the Governmental Learning Spiral method, an approach designed to overcome political barriers and to enhance innovation in the political context. This participative process, where those who develop are also those who implement, enhances a sense of social belonging among the people involved, which leads to the alignment of different viewpoints as well as to the creation of social networks. In consequence, a broader audience becomes involved; this creates feedback loops that lead to the continuous improvement of the strategy process. Within less than five years the SHS has been able to achieve significant goals within the scope of its vision: the implementation of universal access to Hepatitis C therapies has been enforced; increased attention within the general population has been achieved by using progressively more media coverage about therapies, a patient organisation has been founded and the national health authorities have begun to support the strategy financially. The case of the SHS proves, that a carefully designed political learning process is an efficient and innovative tool in the face of today's health policy challenges such as the Hepatitis C epidemic.
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