Greg Hunt

Federal Member for Flinders | Minister for Health

Environment Media

New research project to help tackle chronic pain

Thursday, 1 February 2018

The Turnbull Government is boosting its commitment to preventive health by providing $10 million for new research projects that focus on preventing disease and keeping people out of hospital. 

These projects are the first investments under the Medical Research Future Fund in the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre. 

It’s part of the Turnbull Government’s unprecedented commitment to health and medical research.

Today we are announcing the first of these projects – which will receive more than $500,000 to look at how we can reduce the risk of people developing chronic pain. 

Professor Fiona Blyth AM from the University of Sydney will look at how patient pain can be better managed in the primary care setting, so it does not get to a point where it becomes chronic and interferes with quality of life or requires treatment with opioids. 

Chronic pain is a growing health issue, with one in five Australians living with chronic pain. It is estimated to cost the economy $34 billion a year.

This project is based on the assumption that the key is access to effective prevention, self-management and non-pharmacological pain management. Latest evidence estimated that 83 per cent of people could be treated effectively if they had access to this type of service.

If pain can be better managed and treated then we will improve the quality of life for thousands of Australians and potentially reduce dependence on medications such as codeine. 

The information gathered as part of the project will be used to develop a tool for Primary Health Networks, allowing them to make local assessments of their capacity and needs.

Projects run by Professor Blyth and her team complement other activities the Australian Government is undertaking, including the up-scheduling of codeine on 1 February and the new Chronic Pain MedsCheck trial.

For more information visit http://preventioncentre.org.au 

(ENDS)

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