Canadian Health System Seeks to Improve Its Response
to Managing Chronic Pain
The Government of Canada has just released a report on the need to improve the health system’s capacity to better understand, prevent and manage chronic pain. Nearly 8 million Canadians live with chronic pain – children, adults and seniors. The condition often prevents people from participating in work, school and family, and community life. It is largely invisible, with those affected often feeling disbelieved and stigmatized. In 2019, the total direct (health care) and indirect (productivity loss) costs of chronic pain were estimated to range from $38.3 to $40.4 billion.
On May 5, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced the release of the Canadian Pain Task Force’s (CPTF) third and final report: “An Action Plan for Pain in Canada.” The Minister also announced $2.8 million in funding for a project to help provide support and access to care for people living with chronic pain. Established in 2019, the CPTF is helping Health Canada better understand and address the health needs and concerns of people living with chronic pain.
Dr. Fiona Campbell, Director of the Chronic Pain Program at the Hospital for Sick Children commented, “It is a critical time for action to address unmanaged pain across Canada. Chronic pain is largely invisible and for too long people with pain have faced stigma and had to navigate significant gaps in access to care.”
Chronic pain, defined as pain that lasts or recurs for more than three months, is often associated with significant emotional distress and/or functional disability. Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused additional challenges for many people living with chronic pain. Gino Stirpe, Vice President of VUMI® Canada comments, “Disruptions to accessing proper health care has exacerbated an already serious problem. This is yet another reason why Canadians are seeking expanded options to supplement their health care, like the innovative Prestige VIP plan offered by VUMI® Canada.”
Source: Health Canada