Pain BC Awareness - November 2011

Top Quote Chronic Pain Shatters Lives. Let's Change That. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) November 16, 2010 - Chronic pain is under-recognized and under-treated. It affects people of all ages. In Canada, one in five people suffer daily from chronic pain - it is the "silent epidemic". Every day, the lives of British Columbians are changed by pain - the daily suffering, the breakdown of family and other relationships, the potential for addiction as a way to cope, the loss of productivity and purpose, the risk of becoming impoverished. It's time for a change.

    Pain BC is a non-profit organization that has been leading efforts to reduce the burden of pain on individuals, families, and communities in our province. Pain BC joins with other organizations to kick off Pain Awareness Week - bringing chronic pain out of the shadows and calling for action in BC.

    "We're adding our voices to others around the world, calling for improved care for people living with chronic pain. The health care system is operating on outdated understanding of pain. In Canada, medical students get 16 hours of education on pain management. Veterinarians get 80 hours. Our health care providers, and our health care system, aren't equipped to properly treat those living with chronic pain." says Dr. Michael Negraeff.

    Growing awareness of the human and financial costs has catalyzed an international movement to address the needs of people living with pain. Plans developed in Canada, Australia, the UK and the US share common elements: the redesign of health services, education for health care providers and promotion of self-management for patients.

    Brenda Poulton, Nurse Practitioner, says, "There is a lot of talk about managing the health care budget. Chronic pain costs Canadians more than HIV, cancer and heart disease combined. The price of un-managed pain is staggering. In BC, we spend 1.3 billion dollars every year on health care costs related to chronic pain, with the indirect costs reaching 6.2 billion. Most of these costs could be avoided."

    Other countries have named Chronic Pain a national health priority. Efforts are underway to develop a national pain strategy for Canada. "For so long, we've been told "it's all in your head" or "there's nothing we can do." That's just not true. There is hope for people living with chronic pain - much of the suffering isn't necessary. We know what to do - educate health care providers, make modest changes to the health care system, and get patients involved as partners - we just have to do it." states Heather Divine, Patient Rep.

    For more information and to lend your voice please visit us at

    About PAIN BC

    Launched in 2008, the Society has completed several important initiatives and has just initiated an ambitious three year Strategic Plan. The Plan for 2010-2013 outlines several activities clustered around six primary goals:
    1. Encourage Prevention and Early Intervention
    2. Facilitate Patient Engagement and Enhance Patient Education
    3. Enhance Support and Education for Health Care Providers to Enable Best Practice
    4. Advance System Responsiveness through Advocacy and Redesign
    5. Broaden and Deepen Engagement of Pain Stakeholders
    6. Build Pain BC Society's Organizational Capacity

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