Sunday, 27 May 2018

Australia Tackles Its Chronic Pain Problems

Today's short post from the Australian (see link below) shows what's needed in all lands when it comes to pain treatment and policy. It's so obvious that with so many people across the world being increasingly classed as chronic pain patients, that a country's productivity is bound to suffer, never mind the personal loss and suffering for those directly involved. Yet most governments sit on their hands and rely on decades-old policies and medications to treat what is becoming a modern social problem. Neuropathy patients especially (and there are millions of us) are frustrated at the lack of energy and general ignorance at the highest levels, when it comes to dealing with what remains an incurable disease. Do they not want people to rejoin society as productive and optimistic members of society? Don't they see the economic advantages of solving pain problems, or would they rather continue throwing millions of whatever currency at outdated and ineffective medications and therapies, thus draining their health resources even further. Energy and forward thinking at the highest level is desperately needed. The Australian government, as shown in this article, seems to be taking a lead and setting an example.

Greg Hunt backs national pain action plan
media release May 24, 2018 5:26 pm

Chronic pain is a significant issue in Australia. Today, Painaustralia welcomed a new announcement by the Minister for Health Greg Hunt of funding for a national action plan on chronic pain management to improve quality of life for the millions of Australians living with pain, their families and carers.

Speaking at Painaustralia’s AGM, Minister Hunt’s announcement of a national action plan will put in place a clear roadmap to drive a reduction in chronic pain.

Following the announcement Painaustralia’s Chairman Robert Regan said, “We are pleased to see the Government’s leadership in addressing chronic pain as a national health priority – one of the leading causes of disability, absenteeism and forced early retirement in Australia.”

“This will have a significant impact on the lives of millions of Australians who live with chronic pain every day.”

Carol Bennett, CEO of Painaustralia said, “A national action plan is an important step towards enabling better awareness, and increased access to prevention and early intervention, treatment and support, and research and evaluation.

“These are the key components to ensuring quality of life and limiting the escalating social and economic costs of unmanaged pain.

“The bipartisan support demonstrated today by the Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King is also welcome.

“A truly national strategy will also require support and input from all state and territory governments as well, and we hope they will support this initiative.”

One in five Australians lives with chronic pain (including adolescents and children) and one in three over the age of 65. Pain is also common to many chronic conditions and, if proactively addressed, can significantly reduce the burden of disease.

Chronic pain costs our economy more than $34 billion per year including; health costs, social security benefits and lost productivity. Pain impacts the wellbeing and mental health of millions of Australians, disrupting families and weakening our communities.

Painaustralia looks forward to working with the Australian Government and our members and partners to progress this important work.

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