Carol Bennett, CEO of Painaustralia with Phil Calvert (President) and Di Wilson from the Australian Physiotherapy Association at the launch of the National Pain Services Directory
This month, it gives me great pleasure to let our readers know that the Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, has launched the new National Pain Services Directory at Parliament House in Canberra.
Over 200 specialist pain services are mapped across Australia in the Directory, enabling better access to best practice pain management for Australians fighting what is often an invisible condition – pain. Ensuring that consumers have better access to information on pain services is an important action item as recommended by the National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management, and we are delighted to see the Federal Government support progress on this.
We are grateful to Minister Hunt and the Australian Government for supporting this Directory. I would also like to thank Sarah Fowler, a very special woman who provided a consumer perspective to the launch event. Dr Anne Burke, President of the Australian Pain Society also spoke to the importance of access to multidisciplinary pain management. I would like to acknowledge the APS for providing invaluable information for the Directory. And finally, thank you to our members and supporters, many of whom travelled to attend the event, and who have promoted the directory to their networks.
October has also seen the launch of the NPS Medicinewise (NPS) Opioid education program, targeted at both health professionals and consumers. Painaustralia partnered with NPS Medicinewise to provide consumer perspectives which are a a central part of this Program, from the design, development through to the implementation stage.
A special thanks to the members of our Consumer Advisory Group, led by Chair Sister Mary-Lynne Cochrane, who have committed much time and effort into ensuring that the final resources are consumer centred.
The National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management developed by Painaustralia in collaboration with all key stakeholders is also gathering pace as it progresses through the Council of Australian Government’s process. Painaustralia has had several productive meetings with State and Territory Health Ministers as well as Health Departments, and we have been very encouraged by the positive response by all jurisdictions to both the Action Plan, as well as improving pain management at jurisdictional levels. We are optimistic that the Australian Health Ministers will soon provide the endorsement to a national approach to pain management.
It has also been another busy parliamentary sitting period, with many stakeholder events at Parliament House. Painaustralia was pleased to participate in this year’s PharmAus event, hosted by Medicines Australia, that saw a record number of participants as well as a strong focus on consumers and their lived experience as part of the program.
Painaustralia also participated in and supported National Carers Week events and campaign in October.