'VICTORIA - Health Minister Terry Lake announced $1.5 million in new funding today to support British Columbians living with chronic pain.
The funding to Pain BC will help support the outcomes of the second Provincial Pain Summit, which took place in February, and created a space to share and learn best practices for chronic pain management.
"Chronic pain can be a daily struggle for one in five British Columbians," Lake said. "Pain BC has done significant work to improve the lives of these people and shed light on the social stigma surrounding chronic pain. The funding announced today will help them to create the solutions they discussed at the summit last month and inform our government͛s policy work around this critical issue."
The first Provincial Pain Summit was held in June 2011 and was instrumental in setting the direction for much of Pain BC's work over the last five years. The second summit, sponsored by the Ministry of Health through a $50,000 grant, took place Feb. 17-19, 2017.
The goals of the two-day event were to encourage dialogue, identify and prioritize issues and challenges, determine potential solutions and map out a path for action. It brought together patients, researchers, policy-makers, health-care providers and other stakeholders. Priority areas include creating better chronic pain training for allied health providers, implementing and enhancing existing self-management resources in all communities throughout B.C., and improving chronic pain education opportunities for family doctors.
͞"Pain BC is grateful to the Ministry of Health for supporting our work to advance the outcomes of the second provincial pain summit," said Maria Hudspith, Pain BC Executive Director. ͞"This funding will enable our organization, and our partners, to combat stigma, expand access to services, promote early intervention, and concretely improve the lives of British Columbians living with chronic pain. Just as the first summit in 2011 laid the foundation for much of our work since, this summit has resulted in clear priorities for the next few years. We look forward to working with other non-profit organizations, health authorities, patients, clinicians and government, to develop and implement the summit recommendations."
In 2016-17, the ministry provided more than $500,000 to Pain BC to enhance self-management for patients, and improve doctor supports and education regarding chronic pain. Increasing self-management services for patients supports the ministry͛s direction toward a more patientcentered model of care. Patients in rural and remote areas also benefit as these services are accessed by telephone and online.
The Province, working with its partners in the health-care system, continues to invest in chronic pain management services to improve interventions, co-ordinate services and build a better system.'