Canberra recently saw the launch of a new Pain Centre in North Canberra. The ACT Pain Centre located at the Calvary Clinic in Bruce aims to deliver affordable pain management and decrease the waiting period for treatment for both public and private patients.
Inaugurated by ACT Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Meegan Fitzharris in September, the clinic aims to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for pain management offering access to pain specialists, a psychiatrist, addiction psychiatrist, and allied therapists such as physiotherapists, psychologists and occupational therapists all under the one roof, with a range of services that take a holistic approach to chronic pain management. Progress is underway to include an oncologist, palliative and paediatric pain specialist to the team, as well as a paediatric pain psychologist.
Founder of the new clinic, Dr Jain, is a Specialist Pain Medicine Physician and Interventional Pain Specialist, and the Director of the Pain Management Unit at the Canberra Hospital. It has been difficult for chronic pain patients from northern Canberra, to travel from the north side to the public hospital pain clinic in the south. With limited public transportation options, and with chronic pain patients often unable to drive, this often represents a barrier to access for many Canberrans and the new clinic hopes to reduce this.
The centre also aims to start low intensity pain education programs, which will be offered to patients from public hospitals at no cost. Dr Jain, who has been instrumental in reducing Canberra’s public pain clinic waiting lines, is committed to ensuring that timely access can be offered to all patients.
Margaret McCulloch, President Pain Support ACT said “The Canberra Hospital’s outpatient Pain Management Unit has had variable waiting list times as high as between 9-12 months over recent years. Many of those we have spoken with are significantly impacted by the long wait in pain. In the 21 Century it really is not acceptable for people with burdensome ongoing pain to wait so long for the effective treatment that is available, but not accessible to these people who are public patients. Access to essential pain relief should not depend on income. "
"It is in this context that we welcome the announcement by Dr Romil Jain that his new Canberra pain clinic in Belconnen will be accepting not just private patients but public patients as well. This is an innovative and commendable way of operating and will hopefully provide a new model in pain care which will be embraced more widely,” Ms McCulloch said.