At a recent General Assembly meeting in Uruguay, the World Medical Association (WMA) identified the need for improved pain treatment. The WMA put forward a series of proposals to improve patients’ access to adequate pain treatment. It said that in most cases, pain could be stopped or relieved with inexpensive and relatively simple treatment which could dramatically improve quality of life.
Two major reasons for the gap in treatment were a lack of education for health professionals in the assessment and treatment of pain, and unnecessarily restrictive government regulations, including limiting access to opioid pain medications. Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, Chair of the WMA (and a former AMA President) said “Physicians and other health care professionals have an ethical duty to offer proper clinical assessments to patients with pain and to offer appropriate treatment. This may require prescribing medications, including opioid analgesics. We would like to see instruction on pain management included in the mandatory curricula and continuing education for physicians and other health professionals. “
APMA welcomes these observations, which are certainly relevant to the Australian situation. You can read the full WMA resolution here.