Australia is the first country to have a National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management
18 MAY 2021
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.”
A new compass guiding people on their pain journey
18 MAY 2021
People who live with chronic pain will now find it easier to find alternative holistic treatments with the launch today of the new look and improved National Pain Services Directory.
The updated directory was made possible by funding from the Australian Government and was launched by Senator Wendy Askew at the Parliamentary Friends of Pain Management Group event at the Capital Pain and Rehabilitation Clinic in Deakin which is celebrating 20 years of service to the Canberra community.
“The directory provides a comprehensive list of more than 200 pain clinics who treat all types of pain conditions and can help consumers and GPs to find help from every region across Australia,” Senator Askew said.
Painaustralia CEO Carol Bennett said the National Pain Services Directory was a practical resource tool not only used by consumers but also by GPs and other health professionals who are looking for evidence based, holistic treatments.
“The updated directory has sophisticated search functionality which enables people to find a clinic in their own state and territory, related to specific pain conditions, a public or private facility, and geographical location with a ‘use my location’ button that is highly accurate and can pinpoint services directly to where someone lives or works,” she said.
Painaustralia appoints Major General Duncan Lewis as new Chair
18 MARCH 2021
Painaustralia is pleased to announce today’s appointment of Major General Duncan Lewis AO, DSC, CSC as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Major General Lewis is a former Australian military officer, Secretary of the Department of Defence, diplomat and intelligence chief and from 2014 to 2019 was the Director-General of Security and head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
Prior to that appointment, he held the post of Australian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
He is a retired Australian Army officer, and formerly Special Operations Commander Australia (2002–2004) and National Security Adviser.
Major General Lewis said it was a great privilege to take up the position of Chair of Painaustralia which this year is celebrating 10 years advocating on behalf of people who live with chronic pain.
“This is a critical time as we finally have a national approach to pain management in Australia with today’s important announcement that all Australian governments have endorsed the National Strategic Action Plan,” he said.
Consumer input into medicine and device approval processes urgently needed
26 MARCH 2021
Painaustralia has today called for meaningful and greater input for consumers as part of the approval processes for new devices and medicines in Australia.
Appearing at the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport - Approval processes for new drugs and novel medical technologies in Australia, Painaustralia CEO Carol Bennett said there must be a better way to consult consumers throughout the regulatory process as the current processes are leaving consumers disappointed and bereft of hope.
“Consumer input needs to be considered, valued and adopted when making decisions that have a real impact on the quality of life of those living with pain and other health conditions,” she said.
Over-the-counter medicinal cannabis a step toward better pain management
16 DECEMBER 2020
Painaustralia has welcomed the announcement by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to down-schedule cannabidiol (CBD) and enable the availability of low-dose CBD over-the-counter (OTC) in pharmacies.
CEO of Painaustralia, Carol Bennett, said changes that provide more accessible and affordable pain management options are necessary. “While the number of people living with pain in Australia rises, there will still be significant gaps in access to, and understanding of, best practice holistic pain management. With the recent restrictions applied to opioids in Australia making pharmacological pain treatments less accessible, the schedule 3 listing of CBD and ready availability in pharmacies will add another drug to the list of available treatments. The major missing piece of the puzzle remains access to effective multidisciplinary treatment, but this move to make low dose medicinal cannabis available over the counter is a welcome increase in options available to people experiencing pain.”
Chronic pain – a critical factor in addressing mental health
17 NOVEMNER 2020
The release of the Productivity Commission Inquiry Report into Mental Health has again highlighted the fundamental need for a shift towards well targeted and innovative solutions to reach those who fall through the cracks of mental health services, including the 3.37 million Australians living with chronic pain.
‘We have seen unprecedented levels of spending on mental health in the past few years, with an increase in the burden of disease and costs of mental health problems. If we are to change this trajectory, we must look to find new solutions to old problems that continue to rise exponentially despite record investments,’ said Painaustralia CEO, Carol Bennett.
Painaustralia welcomes Tara Moss as newest Pain Champion
06 October 2020
Tara Moss has been announced as the latest Pain Champion for Painaustralia, joining the mission to improve the quality of life of people living with pain, their families and carers.
The announcement was made at an event held today by the Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Mrs Hurley, to formally launch Painaustralia’s Parliamentary Friends of Pain Management Group.
Tara Moss is an award-winning author, documentary producer, host and advocate. Since 1999 Tara has written 13 bestselling books, published in 19 countries and 13 languages. She is the winner of an Edna Ryan award and in 2017 was recognised as one of the Global Top 50 Diversity Figures in Public Life, for using her position in public life to make a positive impact in diversity.
Pain in the Aged Care Sector detected with innovative App
21 September 2020
An innovative technology that uses facial recognition technology to assess and score pain levels in real time has been used to assess pain for aged care residents during the pandemic, leading the Federal Government to extend its funding period.
PainChek® is a clinically validated mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to assess micro-expressions in a person’s face and identify the presence and severity of pain in minutes and from up to a three-meter distance.
The Federal Government-funded national trial of PainChek in Australian residential aged care commenced just as the pandemic took hold, helping aged care staff detect and manage pain in residents with conditions such as dementia, who find it difficult to communicate.