The Government of Canada recognizes the need to improve the health system’s capacity to better understand, prevent and manage chronic pain. Nearly 8 million Canadians – one in five people – live with chronic pain. Chronic pain affects children, adults, and seniors, and significantly impacts their physical and mental health. Chronic pain 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.

Today, 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 the Centre of Effective Practice for a project that will 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 and those who care for them. Now more than ever, there is a need to improve the health system’s capacity to better support those living with chronic pain.

In January 2021, the CPTF’s mandate was strengthened to provide recommendations to the Government to ensure that people with pain are recognized and supported, and that pain is understood, prevented and effectively treated across Canada. The third report draws from the two years of work undertaken by the Task Force, and outlines priority actions in these areas.

The findings in the report present consensus on specific and targeted actions that will improve policy coordination, access to pain services, education and training, research, and surveillance to ultimately transform how pain is understood and treated. These recommendations were developed using an equity lens for a clear and actionable way forward to prevent chronic pain and improve the quality of life for Canadians who experience chronic pain.

Advancing the Government’s efforts to better understand, prevent and manage chronic pain, by using the CPTF’s recommendations to inform and support future action, is key to ensuring better outcomes for people with chronic pain and those that help care for them. 

Click here to read the full report. 

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