The National Pain Strategy has been a catalyst for major change in the way pain—especially chronic pain—is understood and managed in Australia and the provision of pain services.
All Australian states have adopted recommendations of the strategy.
Statewide pain plans are in place in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia while Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory are well advanced in their planning with a focus on developing community-based services.
ACT Health identified chronic pain as a separate chronic condition, and funded ($1.5 million) for a Tier 1 pain clinic at Canberra Hospital.
A total of 14 new regional pain clinics have been established across the eastern states—from La Trobe to Townsville.
Dedicated paediatric pain clinics have been established at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane and Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth while regional paediatric service capacity has been increased at John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle—making a total of six specialist clinics in four states.
Specialist paediatric telehealth services are available for patients across New South Wales through Westmead Children’s Hospital and John Hunter Children’s Hospital, with paediatric clinics in other states developing telehealth options.
A range of new chronic pain education and training opportunities have been developed for health professionals.
More education for people living with pain, including award-winning online portals PainHEALTH and painbytes.
Our 2014 review of progress with the National Pain Strategy is available for download. It outlines the actions and activities of 90 government and non-government organisations.