Generous gift keeps critical pain management on the agenda for health professionals

The Sydney Medical School is running a series of interactive seminars on the treatment and management of pain, beginning at Nepean Hospital on Saturday 16 August. This has been made possible by a generous gift from Reckitt Benckiser, donated to the University of Sydney’s Nepean Medical Research Foundation.

Vanessa McCutcheon, of Reckitt Benckiser, says they are proud to support the pain management seminars and the work of the University’s Pain Management Research Institute at Royal North Shore Hospital in helping people to manage pain.

“By supporting the continuing education of healthcare professionals, we have a great opportunity to reduce the burden of chronic pain in Australia,” said Ms McCutcheon.

“The multidisciplinary healthcare team approach to pain management coupled with the highest standard of medical education hopefully brings us a step closer to making a real difference to people living with pain,“ she said.

The daylong program is designed for medical and allied health professionals and will explore effective pain management interventions from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Presenters include experts from the University of Sydney’s Pain Management Research Institute at Royal North Shore Hospital and local pain management practitioners. The focus will be on patients in community settings.

Dr Annette Katelaris, Director of the Office of Postgraduate Education, Sydney Medical School, believes that these multidisciplinary seminars will help practitioners develop holistic approaches to diagnosing and treating patients with pain.

“The continued education of health professionals, aimed at improving the understanding and management of pain is paramount to the delivery of world-class patient care. Chronic pain is Australia’s third most costly health condition. Effective interventions that prevent acute pain progressing to chronic and debilitating pain would have positive medical, social, and economic impacts,” said Dr Katelaris.

Of the estimated one in five Australians who endure persistent daily pain, many struggle to find effective treatment and visit their general practitioner five times more frequently than those without the condition.

Each year, an estimated 36 million workdays are lost due to long-term pain; $34 billion is lost in work leave, health care and associated costs. Over 600,000 Australians aged 45 – 64, are not working due to ill health, chronic back pain and arthritis.