I have just returned from an energising few days at the Australian Pain Society (APS) conference in Sydney. The quality of presentations from international and local speakers on a variety of topics was high and covered issues as diverse as indigenous pain management to paediatric approaches. It’s a great opportunity to link with our members and hear the latest perspectives on evidence-based approaches in multidisciplinary care.
Prior to the opening of the conference, Painaustralia Chairman Robert Regan and myself attended the combined boards breakfast with our founding members, the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, and the APS as well as our New Zealand Pain Society colleagues to discuss joint approaches on a number of emerging issues.
Congratulations to Fiona Hodson, Tracey Hallen and all at APS for a highly successful event!
While the profile of pain is continuing to gain momentum in the media, perhaps the issue that continues to attract the most attention is opioids. Painaustralia provided a submission to the TGA recently noting the importance of ensuring that training, education and awareness (or better yet a National Pain Strategy!) should be the cornerstone of a national response to opioid prescribing and management.
Emergency department and opioid misuse was the subject of the recent Agency for Clinical Innovation, NSW Health Pain Management Network discussion forum. It seems clear that these events will continue to draw attention to the ongoing need to address the use and management of opioids, but hopefully in a context that recognises that pain requires a committed national approach extending beyond medication.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome members and partners to our upcoming AGM on Thursday 24 May 2018 at Parliament House in Canberra. We are delighted that the Minister for Health Hon Greg Hunt MP, our National Patron Sir Angus Houston and Shadow Minister for Health Hon Catherine King MP will provide their perspectives.
Let’s hope the interests of these policy makers is translated into better treatment and support options for people experiencing pain across Australia.
Congratulations to Professor Michael Nicholas for receiving the APS Distinguished Member Award at the APS conference. A well deserved award for someone who has done so much to advance the management of pain in Australia.
Carol Bennett joined the Explain Pain Forum on "the future of pain management beyond codeine"