In its current form, the MBS does not support the realisation of a multidisciplinary, patient-centred approach in primary, secondary or tertiary healthcare settings. This approach continues to be endorsed by the pain sector and is articulated in the National Pain Strategy (the Strategy) which provides a blueprint for the treatment and management of acute, chronic and cancer pain. The growing evidence base continues to support the Strategy as best practice, eight years since its endorsement at the National Pain Summit by 200 stakeholders and its endorsement by experts at a recent Roundtable in Canberra.
In his presentation, Dr Hogg noted that the MBS could support community options that would reduce this burden particularly in the primary care setting where, like all chronic conditions, pain is best managed. This requires a model of care that considers the biopsychosocial aspects of chronic pain.
Painaustralia’s submission to the Review noted that without wholesale changes to the MBS framework, considerable efforts of health practitioners and governments to adopt the multi-disciplinary approach outlined in the Strategy are being stymied.
As a priority, Dr Hogg urged the committee to consider service and funding models that would underpin and streamline a multidisciplinary approach in a range of health care settings and support the recommendations of the 2015 Primary Health Care Advisory Group. This includes consideration of blended funding models that would allow greater collaboration and continuity of care between general practice, specialists and allied health providers for complex conditions, like chronic pain.