End-of-life care

8 goals for pain management in new National Strategic Action Plan


A national action plan for better pain management has been launched by Pain Australia.

Supported by funding from the Federal government, the plan has been drawn up in consultation with groups such as the Palliative Care Australia and the RACP

The developers of the plan note that pain has not been a priority area despite one in five Australians experiencing chronic pain and the consequent disabilities.

“Many people living with pain cannot get access to best practice pain management, often due to cost, location or low awareness of treatment options,” they write.

The action plan has developed from Australia’s first National Pain Strategy, launched in 2010, which provided a blueprint for the treatment and management of acute, chronic and cancer pain.

It focuses on eight key goals and actions, including:

  1. Establish a National Pain Leadership Group
  2. Recognise pain as a complex condition in its own right for the purposes of MBS rebates
  3. Determine a single validated assessment and monitoring tool for chronic pain
  4. Include pain management in accreditation standards for health providers
  5. Establish a National Institute of Pain Research
  6. Provide an overarching education strategy for health practitioners
  7. Community awareness campaigns on pain management and prevention of chronic pain
  8. Interactive national website and app to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for information and resources

Pain Australia CEO Carol Bennett said the action plan will now progress to the Australian Health Ministers Council, ahead of being presented to the Council of Australian Government’s for endorsement in the coming weeks.

“This Action Plan provides us with a clear pathway to meet the challenges that chronic pain poses to all Australians,” she said.

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