Australia’s response to our nation’s pain burden is at a critical juncture and Painaustralia’s Pre-Budget Submission 2018-19 has been prepared with a view to seeking support from the Australian Government for a range of initiatives to relieve the significant social and economic impact of pain on individuals, families and the community.
The consequence of one in five Australians aged under 65 living with chronic pain includes financial and social exclusion, poor quality of life, impacts on mental health and for the nation there are costs associated with reduced productivity and burden of disease.
Recently, the Productivity Commission recommended a health system reboot to focus service delivery on integrated and patient-centred care, which could save the economy up to $140 billion over the next 20 years.
With chronic pain costing the economy at least $34 billion – our third most costly health burden and the leading cause of early retirement and absenteeism – our response to pain is a critical priority and requires a more effective response. As our population ages and chronic conditions rise, the prevalence of chronic pain will only increase.
To date, our national response to more effectively prevent and manage our pain burden has been fragmented. It has been a missing link within broader national conversations on the ageing of our population, prevention and early intervention to reduce chronic conditions, reducing cost of health care and increasing productivity.
By making pain a national priority for policy change, we have an opportunity for a different outcome.
Painaustralia’s Pre-Budget Submission focuses on seven priority objectives and 16 key projects to effectively respond to the pain crisis:
minimising our pain burden is a national priority;
empowering consumers through awareness and promotion;
preventing persistent chronic pain and reducing opioid misuse;
minimising the impact of pain on the workforce and productivity;
expanding pain treatment and consumer support including regional services and priority groups;
building capacity of the health and aged care sector to integrate pain management in practice; and
understanding pain, its impact and how we can best respond through research and evaluation.
Our submission was informed by our network including pain specialists, medical practitioners, allied health practitioners, researchers, academics, consumers and carers.
Should you wish to view Painaustralia’s Pre-Budget Submission it will be available from this web page from 15 December 2017.