October’s Invictus Games held in Sydney proved to be an exciting and inspiring event that also presented the opportunity for Painaustralia to highlight the importance of pain management among veterans through our participation in the ‘Unconquerable Mind’ mental health forum hosted by Medibank and the Banksia Foundation. It was a privilege to hear the stories of veterans who live with visible and invisible scars and have worked through challenges to live as well as possible with pain conditions using sport as a major focus for rehabilitation.
I am thrilled to announce that veteran and Invictus Games competitor, Peter Rudland, has agreed to be a Painaustralia pain champion. Read more about Peter’s inspirational story in this newsletter. We congratulate him on his incredible results in recumbent cycling events as well as a gold medal for the wheelchair rugby.
Thanks to all members and stakeholders who participated in an extensive consultation process to inform the development of the National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management. A period of consultation with the Commonwealth Government is now underway and will involve feedback from all Australian jurisdictions. This is an exciting step forward.
Pain management in the aged care sector has also been a major focus of our work with the Royal Commission into Aged Care being called by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, recently. Painaustralia has pressed the need for pain to be considered in our submission on the Terms of Reference. It was wonderful to see many of Painaustralia’s recommendations included in the Report on the Inquiry into the Quality of Care in Aged Care Facilities in Australia to which we made a submission and provided evidence earlier this year. Pain management in aged care will continue to be a priority area for Painaustralia in the coming year.
It was great to work closely with our founding members (the Faculty of Pain Medicine and The Australian Pain Society) and the Federal Health Minister’s office to ensure that the new private health insurance legislation rules tabled in Parliament in October reflect many concerns of the pain sector about the need for accessible and affordable treatment options. There is still some work to do around access to pain devices in the coming months.
Together, we also raised our collective concern about the implementation of a new national Real Time Prescription Monitoring system before adequate pain management and treatment options are in place (such as those proposed in the National Action Plan).
There is much important progress underway in pain management in Australia. I look forward to keeping you updated on progress as we near the end of a busy year.