Viral hepatitis is an emerging global epidemic and accounts for significant health and economic burden. In Canada, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are, by years lost, the most harmful infectious diseases. Yet this public threat is silent: most people do not know they are infected and may not show signs of liver damage for years. A comprehensive program of treatment, research and education is needed to remove barriers to care. Despite their prevalence and devastating impact, less than ten per cent of Canadians infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and less than 15 per cent of Canadians infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are estimated to have received therapy for their disease. To translate gains in drug development into improved health outcomes, a coordinated strategy is necessary to ensure the infected population can access current treatments – and that healthcare providers have the knowledge, skills and expertise required to treat and manage disease complications.