National Action Plan to Ease Chronic Pain for Australians

The Hon Greg Hunt MP

Minister for Health and Aged Care

The Australian Government has today launched its National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management, providing Australians living with chronic pain access to the care and support they need.

Providing a whole-of-care approach, the Plan recommends eight goals and will focus on reducing the burden of disease and improving the quality of life and care for patients.

It will also outline the importance of educating Australians on understanding and managing pain, as well as providing a framework for health practitioners on how to deliver the best treatment and care to patients.

Developed by Painaustralia, with $170,000 from the Australian Government, the Plan is a national approach towards support chronic pain and has been endorsed by health ministers from every state and territory.

The Government is providing $2.5 million towards the early implementation of the plan, including:

  • $1 million to the University of Sydney – Pain Management Research Institute to train health professionals how to offer pain management care more effectively.
  • $500,000 to the Australian New Zealand College of Anaesthetists to improve the availability of, and access to, consistent and up-to-date information, training and education programs for health professionals on the appropriate management and care for people living with chronic pain.
  • $1 million to Painaustralia to support consumer education and awareness for people affected by pain.

We have also allocated $4.3 million to expand pain management services for regional, rural and remote Australians through the Rural Health Outreach

Chronic pain affects more than three million Australians, who suffer from a persistent pain, restricting the ability to work and sleep and costing the economy more than $70 billion each year.

Smoking, physical inactivity, genetics and increased age are all factors that can increase the likelihood of developing chronic pain.

The National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management is available at https://health.gov.au/resources/publications/the-national-strategic-action-plan-for-pain-management.

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