Painaustralia has been focussed on developing the National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management this past couple of months with consumers, medical, health and stakeholder group consultations providing excellent input to the draft goals and actions.
We received more than 1100 responses to our stakeholder survey, 70% from consumers. In addition, we commissioned the Consumers Health Forum of Australia to host consumer consultation on the Plan. This involved a consumer Roundtable held in Canberra and interviews with key groups.
The culmination of our consultations was the stakeholder workshop hosted by ABC national health journalist Sophie Scott and strategic consultant, Rosie Yeo in Canberra in late September. It provided an opportunity for prioritising actions for the draft Plan which is now complete.
Painaustralia will continue to advocate for improved pain management support and services and we anticipate our members and other key stakeholders will support the push to advance the priority actions outlined in the National Action Plan.
September saw the Government announce a Royal Commission into Aged Care and call for input on the Terms of Reference. Painaustralia provided a submission drawing upon successive reviews which have recommended improved pain management in aged care. Given that 80% of residents in aged care live with pain, it seems reasonable to expect best practice pain management would be a requirement of government funding for aged care. This will continue to be a high priority for Painaustralia as the Royal Commission gets underway.
The proposed changes to Private Health Insurance under new legislation passed by the Senate in September were the subject of much policy and advocacy by Painaustralia together with key members. At the time of print, we are optimistic that Minister Hunt will ensure that our concerns about limited treatment access for chronic pain patients in the new categories which move chronic pain into ‘gold’ will be reflected in the rules which give effect to the legislation.
Painaustralia has provided submissions to various inquiries and reviews covering issues as a diverse as research funding to the introduction of the new My Health Record. These activities are highlighted in this newsletter.
All of this activity was capped off in September with our support for International Pain Awareness Month 2018 (an initiative of the International Alliance of Patient Organizations) which provided an avenue for the international patient community to call for pain to be recognised as a global health priority.
Thanks to all our members and supporters for sharing our key messages during the month and demonstrating the shared commitment to addressing pain by patient groups around the globe.
Stakeholders at Painaustralia’s National Strategic Action Plan Roundtable