MORE than 200 specialist pain services are mapped across Australia in a new National Pain Services Directory which will enable better access to pain management for millions of Australians.
Painaustralia chief executive Carol Bennett said; "Most of the 3.2 million Australians living with pain don't receive best practice treatment. Many rely solely on opioids and other medicines that bear their own costs.
"This directory provides a much needed, easy to navigate way for those in pain to find pain specialists and clinics across Australia, greatly increasing awareness and access to better treatment options as supported by the National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management."
Launching the directory federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, said: "Chronic Pain is an escalating health issue and carries a significant economic burden, both for affected individuals and the national health system.
"The National Pain Services Directory will make it easier for people to access more than 200 pain treatment services, and ensure they are able to receive treatment that is appropriate and effective for their needs."
Pain is closely associated with other health conditions such as mental health and disability - nearly 1.45 million (44 per cent) of people in pain also live with depression and anxiety.
Limited awareness of good options to deal with chronic pain means many of these Australians are falling through the cracks of the country's health system.
"Ensuring timely access to high quality, multidisciplinary care is essential for the large number of people who are living with chronic and persistent pain in Australia," said Australian Pain Society President Dr Anne Burke.
People need the right care, as close to their home as possible, so that they can get back into the driver's seat and take control of their lives."
Access the National Pain Services Directory here or contact Painaustralia 02-6232- 5588.