The Cost of Pain report

The faculty attended the launch of Painaustralia’s Cost of Pain in Australia report at Parliament House, Canberra on Thursday April 4. 
FPM Vice-Dean, Associate Professor Mick Vagg, FPM General Manager, Helen Morris and ANZCA’s Media Manager, Carolyn Jones attended the launch.

The report, prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, found that 3.24 million Australians are living with chronic  pain at a cost to the economy of $A73.2 billion, including $48.3 billion in lost productivity. 

Key findings included that an extension of best practice care to Australian patients could lead to substantial savings and better health outcomes, such as:
  • A roll out of a pain specialist-designed and led national GP training program could save $A209 million in overdose related costs.
  • Doubling current levels of access to multidisciplinary care could reduce health system costs by $A3.7 million.
Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, officially launched the report and expressed his support for the National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management, currently with the states and territories for consideration. The Minister announced a funding package of new measures including:
  • $A4.3 million for better access to pain management services through the Rural Health Outreach Fund (included in the Federal Budget 2019-2020). 
  • $A2.5 million over four years, to fund consumer and health education awareness and education, which includes $A1 million for Painaustralia, $A1m for health professional education and $A0.5 million for an education strategy for pain management and opioid use. 

The minister also announced the establishment of a new National Advisory Council on Pain.

The Cost of Pain in Australia report is available online.

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