In a world-first, Australia now has a National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management (The Action Plan) which will provide real impetus and practical support for the 3.4 million Australians living with chronic pain said Painaustralia CEO Carol Bennett welcoming today’s launch by Health Minister Greg Hunt.
“The National Strategic Action Plan is a critical step towards improving the quality of life for the millions of Australians who live with chronic pain and every day face the challenges of accessing affordable and specialised pain treatment,” said Ms Bennett.
“We thank Minister Hunt for his support of the Action Plan and launching it at today’s Painaustralia’s Parliamentary Friends of Pain Management Group event.
“The Action Plan, which is now endorsed by all Australian governments, provides a pathway to improved pain awareness, support and treatment for people living with chronic pain.
“Hopefully, with the Action Plan now in place and supported by all governments, it will provide the priority that those who live in chronic pain need.”
The Cost of Chronic Pain in Australia report found that in 2020 chronic pain cost $144.1 million and if nothing is done it will rise to $215.6 billion by 2050.
The Action Plan was developed by Painaustralia with funding from the Australian Government and is the culmination of the commitment and dedication of key stakeholders and consumers.
After extensive consultation, the Action Plan was released in 2019 for endorsement by the Australian Government and details eight key priority areas that can be undertaken to help address chronic pain in Australia today.
“Today’s announcement by Minister Hunt is the culmination of many small steps – all of them hard won and which have now resulted in the adoption of this plan by all Australian governments,” Ms Bennett said.
Ms Bennett said the next step was to ensure governments provided funding to realise the actions and agenda outlined in the plan including recognising pain as a national health and public health priority.
Ms Bennett thanked all members and particularly the founding members, the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, the ANZCA Faculty of Pain Medicine, the Australian Pain Society and the Pain Foundation (formally known as the Pain Management Research Institute) for their commitment to the Action Plan.
The National Strategic Action Plan can be found at https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/05/the-national-strategic-action-plan-for-pain-management-the-national-strategic-action-plan-for-pain-management.pdf