Waiting in pain

Timothy J Semple and Malcolm N Hogg
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (6): 372-373. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10148
Published online: 2 April 2012

Innovative approaches can give more Australians access to pain management

The burden of chronic pain in the Australian community cannot be ignored. The results of the Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health (BEACH) program suggest that almost 20% of general practitioner consultations relate to an individual with chronic pain.1 This is consistent with the 2006 South Australian Health Omnibus report, with 20% of adults reporting chronic pain and 5% reporting pain that interfered extremely with daily activity.2 In Britain, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) notes that severe chronic pain leads to a global health impact equivalent to that of heart disease or severe mental illness. With individuals with chronic pain attending their GPs five times more frequently than those without the condition, the RCGP has accorded chronic pain Clinical Priority status for 2011–2013.3

  • Timothy J Semple1,2
  • Malcolm N Hogg3,2

  • 1 Pain Management Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, SA.
  • 2 Australian Pain Society, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Management, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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