Is There a Need for a National Approach to Pain Management? Dr. Jennifer Stevens

Pain Management
Pain management in Australia has improved a lot over the last 20 years. There is now a lot of assistance and recognition from the Federal Government and NGO organisations.

Pain management in Australia has improved a lot over the last 20 years. It was an area that was just attached to all sorts of different specialties for a long time. It was almost like that was what was excepted if you were having a surgery or for all sorts of reasons. It’s now a specialty in its own right. 

And there’s been a lot of support recently from the federal and state governments in supporting access to pain services. There’s been a national action plan and the action plan focuses on educating health professionals, on educating consumers, empowering them to take charge of their own health and to be able to get access through sites, like the Pain Australia directory, to health professionals who specifically look at chronic pain. 

There’s also a research plan so that we can improve the management of chronic pain from here on. We’re looking forward to continued improvement in this area. We recognise that we’ve got a long way to go. That chronic pain can be an incredibly hard problem to deal with. And that the messages that you get from your health professionals are often scattered. They often contradict each other. 

So within the pain management field, we are trying to ensure that all of your health professionals get educated about how to manage pain so that you get a consistent message and we’re also trying to empower you to take control.

Dr Jennifer Stevens is a Pain Specialist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney and Pain Australia

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