After originally supporting federal government reforms targeted at slowing opioid use, a peak advocacy group now believes they have gone too far.
In a letter to current Health Minister Mark Butler, Painaustralia chief executive Giulia Jones has bluntly stated the 2020 reforms, passed under the previous government, have failed Australians.
Painaustralia conducted an online survey between December 2021 and February, which received 1808 responses and an additional 1920 social media engagements.
Mrs Jones said an "overwhelming" number of respondents had reported that the reforms had significantly affected their quality of life in a negative way.
"Under the 2020 reforms, people who genuinely need opioids are being deprived the medication they need and have been left suffering," Mrs Jones said.
"More widely, people suffering chronic pain tell us the reforms have made managing their pain more difficult, more stressful, and more expensive."
Mrs Jones said some respondents said they had been "left to suffer" after their medications had been stopped immediately, with no alternatives offered.
Others complaints included the reforms negatively impacting mental health and insufficient information being provided to healthcare practitioners and patients.
Painaustralia is calling for a formal review of the reforms.
In her letter to Mr Butler, Mrs Jones recommended that a standing committee on health should be formed to review implementation of the reforms and assess their impact on physical and mental health.
"Now we have a new minister, and I hope he will respond urgently to this poor outcome and take the opportunity to immediately act to resolve these difficulties," she said.
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