In recent months, Painaustralia has been consulting widely as it develops a National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management.
Painaustralia has been keen to hear the views of consumers and consumer groups, clinicians, allied health practitioners, key health groups and the whole community on what people see are the key priorities to improve the quality of life for the millions of Australians that live with pain and reduce the impact of pain on families, communities and the economy.
Painaustralia received over 1100 responses to a public online survey that closed in August. We also commissioned Consumers Health Forum (CHF) to host a targeted consumer-specific roundtable and teleconference with over 30 consumers that canvassed a broad range of views.
In September, a high level national key stakeholder workshop was held in Canberra, hosted by national ABC health journalist, Sophie Scott and strategist, Rosie Yeo which brought together clinicians, multidisciplinary health practitioners, key groups with interests in rural health, palliative care and other experts. A consumer representative nominated by CHF also attended.
One on one meetings with key pain-specific and other national health organisations that represent consumers living with pain conditions have also been held.
In addition to our consultations, we have also engaged all States and Territories and Primary Health Networks to undertake a stocktake of current activities and programs in pain management which has highlighted where plans have been developed as well as innovative approaches to improving integrated care. A comprehensive evidence base has also been developed to underpin the priorities being developed as part of the Action Plan.
The consultation has clearly demonstrated the need for greater investment and nationally coordinated action and policy setting despite some advances in pain management since the 2010 National Pain Strategy. Greater awareness of pain and pain management, access to multidisciplinary services and research are key priorities.
We thank the pain sector, consumers and the wider community for their thoughtful engagement in this process, which will strengthen the development of a practical and effective National Action Plan. More information on what we discovered will be available on the Painaustralia website soon.