VANCOUVER, BC – An estimated one in five British Columbians lives with chronic pain that profoundly affects their quality of life. Chronic pain can take a toll on mental and physical health, ability to work, as well as relationships with family, friends and society. And as BC’s population ages, the number of those affected by chronic pain is expected to grow.
Doctors of BC believes that British Columbians living with chronic pain should be able to access timely and appropriate pain management options. While the availability of pain services varies by community, the average two year wait time to access specialized pain centres highlights an immediate and considerable need for additional care options that address all causes and impacts of chronic pain – physical, psychological, and social.
A new policy statement
by Doctors of BC recommends that the BC Ministry of Health, in collaboration with key stakeholders, develop and implement a Provincial Chronic Pain Strategy that supports timely access to quality multidisciplinary chronic pain services in BC.
“Imagine living with constant pain somewhere in your body – pain that just won’t go away, no matter what you try. This is a reality for too many people who have trouble doing simple things that the rest of us take for granted – walking, getting into the car, climbing stairs, even sleeping,” says Dr Trina Larsen Soles, President of Doctors of BC. “Being able to effectively manage pain is a necessity for so many to live a normal life, and it’s why Doctors of BC is calling for a provincial strategy to ensure those living with chronic pain have access to the right care when and where they need it.”
Specifically, Doctors of BC believes a Provincial Chronic Pain Strategy should prioritize the following:
- Develop a collaborative, stepped model of care for chronic pain management.
- Improve access to and funding for multidisciplinary chronic pain management in local communities.
- Enhance support for professional education for physicians and other multidisciplinary team members.
- Expand research capacity and quality improvement processes to enhance chronic pain services.
More information on Doctors of BC’s recommendations and commitments can be found here.
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For more information: Sharon Shore,
Senior Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Doctors of BC