The head of a patient advocacy group says the British Columbia government is working on a provincial pain strategy that would provide greater access to services for chronic conditions such as arthritis, back pain and fibromyalgia.
Maria Hudspith, executive director of PainBC, says a draft strategy has been completed for Health Minister Adrian Dix after consultations by his ministry with that group, patients, clinicians, researchers and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C.
Hudspith says input included initiatives and policies that have worked elsewhere, including Australia, which has a national pain strategy.
Other provinces, including Ontario and Quebec, have made investments in pain services, but Hudspith says B.C. seems to be further ahead in developing the most comprehensive provincial strategy.
The Health Ministry says it is continuing to consult with stakeholders but did not provide details about its plans.
A forum of health sciences professionals, researchers and patients gathered in Vancouver last week to discuss the need for a national pain strategy that would ensure regulatory standards are in place.
The Canadian Press