The Federal Government will fund a national action plan on chronic pain management, Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced

Speaking at Painaustralia’s AGM, Mr Hunt said that the national action plan will put in place a clear roadmap to drive a reduction in chronic pain and improve quality of life for sufferers.

Following the announcement Painaustralia’s Chairman Robert Regan said Painaustralia is “pleased to see the Government’s leadership in addressing chronic pain as a national health priority – one of the leading causes of disability, absenteeism and forced early retirement in Australia”.

“This will have a significant impact on the lives of millions of Australians who live with chronic pain every day.”

Carol Bennett, CEO of Painaustralia said, “A national action plan is an important step towards enabling better awareness, and increased access to prevention and early intervention, treatment and support, and research and evaluation.

“These are the key components to ensuring quality of life and limiting the escalating social and economic costs of unmanaged pain.

“The bipartisan support demonstrated today by the Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King is also welcome.

“A truly national strategy will also require support and input from all state and territory governments as well, and we hope they will support this initiative.”

The group highlighted that one in five Australians, including children and adolescents, lives with chronic pain, a number which rises to one in three over the age of 65.

Pain is also common to many chronic conditions, it says, and if proactively addressed can significantly reduce the burden of disease.