There’s an enormous financial cost to pain in Australia. A recent report estimated about a $139 billion cost. This is comprised of a loss in productivity where people are unable to work.
Chronic back pain is one of the most common reasons that people stop work earlier than they would have liked. There’s also the health system cost. If you’ve got chronic pain, you’ve probably seen multiple doctors. You’ve seen multiple health professionals. So there’s an enormous direct cost from treatments associated with chronic pain. There’s also this huge loss in terms of quality of life. A life lived with untreated chronic pain can be more lonely, more filled with anxiety, with uncertainty. So Pain Australia has a number of goals. They include education of both consumers so that they can access better healthcare and use it more fully heath professionals, so that we all understand the ramifications for pain on the person’s health and can address those problems more fully.
Pain Australia also does a lot of advocacy. So it’s working with both federal and state governments to ensure that we have a plan that works well for pain across Australia.