APMA welcomes and congratulates the BUPA Foundation for the recent announcement of a generous grant of $200,000 to the Faculty of Pain Medicine and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners to jointly develop an online training module to improve GP skills in the areas of acute and persistent pain management. This training will help to address the current under management of pain at the primary health level in Australia today. Dr Brendan Moore (FPM Vice Dean) said the learning would be interactive and engaging. Consumer input, potentially critical to the success of the module, will occur through the involvement of APMA and other consumer organisations who are members of Painaustralia.
"Chronic pain impacts patients not only physically, but psychologically and socially, leading to other debilitating aspects such as mental illness, relationship breakdowns and loss of employment," Dr Moore said. "By educating primary health care professionals to better treat patients at an acute stage of pain, the development of their illness into a chronic condition may be reduced."
APMA has consistently argued that improved treatment of chronic pain patients by general practitioners and other primary health care professionals would reduce the waiting times and unnecessary referrals to secondary and tertiary care facilities, allowing them to concentrate on patients requiring more complex treatment.
"Current pain management education for GPs is inconsistent, with differing approaches and messages that produce confusion both for care providers and patients," RACGP President Professor Claire Jackson said. "This online learning program will ensure consistent education and improve access to quality information for regional and rural health care professionals."
The program will be finalised by late 2012 and will be delivered by the RACGP's gplearning online learning platform, which will be able to be accessed by metropolitan and rural GPs, registrars and medical students. It will include interactive elements and animated images.