This month has seen the culmination of a year’s work for our organisation and many decade’s worth of advocacy from the sector as the National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management was launched.
Consultations with the pain management sector and stakeholders have confirmed the need for greater awareness of pain and pain management, more timely access to consumer-centred interdisciplinary services and research to underpin greater knowledge of pain.
The Plan builds on the strong foundation and advocacy of Australia’s pain sector which developed the first National Pain Strategy in 2010 to provide a blueprint for best practice pain management.
This Action Plan provides us with a clear pathway to meet the challenges that chronic pain poses to all Australians. The Deloitte Access Economics Cost of Pain report released by Minister Hunt in April this year has highlighted the seriousness of the pain burden in Australia and makes a clear case for investment and support to prevent and manage chronic pain conditions.
The launch of the Action Plan has ignited discussion across the country, with strong and ongoing media attention on this important issue.
Importantly, the launch has seen the sector united behind the Plan, with stakeholders publicly endorsing the Plan and its objectives including:
As the plan progresses to the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Committee of the Council of Australian Governments for consideration and endorsement, it is important to recognise that this has been a significant journey, and we are now in a better position than ever before to constructively improve pain management and outcomes for millions of Australians.
I would like to publicly thank the hundreds of consumers who provided input to our Plan as well as all of the stakeholders who provided their expertise.
Australia now has the opportunity to lead the world with the implementation of the first fully funded government response to comprehensively addressing the burden of pain. We look forward to working with Minister Hunt and the Department of Health to achieve this goal.