New centre to tackle chronic pain head-on

Michael Weaver 22 November 2019 27
ACT Pain Centre

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith with ACT Pain Centre founder Dr Romil Jain. Photos: Michael Weaver, Region Media.

A new dedicated pain management centre will tackle the hidden issue of chronic pain head-on, with the opening of the ACT Pain Centre in Deakin on Thursday.

What is being called Australia’s most comprehensive pain management resource, the centre will help people suffering chronic, paediatric and cancer pain.

Founder of the ACT Pain Centre Dr Romil Jain said the centre is the only one in the region to provide comprehensive services for cancer pain.

Opened by Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith, Dr Jain said pain is one of Australia’s biggest health issues but doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Pain is such a hush-hush issue, but we want to bring it out into the open and say to sufferers ‘you don’t have to live like this, and help is available to empower you to manage your pain in a better way,’” Dr Jain said.

The clinic co-locates a range of health professionals relevant to pain management including pain specialists, palliative care specialist, psychiatrists (including an addiction psychiatrist), psychologists, occupational therapists, exercise physiologist, physiotherapists and dietician to create a one-stop-shop for chronic pain sufferers, taking a holistic approach to chronic pain management.

Dr Jain, also the Director of the Pain Management Unit at The Canberra Hospital, said one-in-five Australians suffers from chronic pain and this number increases to one-in-three in our elderly population. That equates to more than 3.24 million people living with chronic pain, costing the economy around $73.2 billion a year.

“It’s very difficult for us to imagine the life of a chronic pain patient,” Dr Jain said.

“Many of these patients end up losing their work and personal relationships, not to mention the marked effect of this on their mood, sleep, function and quality of life.

“These people often lose any hope and become forgotten members of our society. It’s not uncommon for them to go into a downward spiral of high-dose medications, alcohol and illicit substance use out of despair and the faint hope of taking the edge off their pain.”

Opioids account for around three deaths per day according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“We are in the midst of an opioid epidemic, resulting in the untimely deaths of many of our fellow beings. It has surpassed road fatalities in the younger population,” Dr Jain said.

He said the centre will not discriminate between people on public or private health care because “pain doesn’t discriminate between rich and poor, men or women”.

“My goal is to deliver pain intervention for everyone who needs it, and to decrease the waiting period for treatment for both public and private patients.”

ACT Pain Centre

Australia’s most comprehensive pain management facility opened in Deakin.

The first ACT Pain Centre opened at the Calvary Clinic in September 2018. It has treated about 60 patients per week, totalling more than 2500 patient presentations.

This facility and the increased demand on the southside led to the development of the second, larger facility in Deakin, with 10 consulting suites, a gym, seminar room and physiotherapy facilities.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said managing and living with chronic pain could have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, and caused great distress for many people in our community.

“The ACT Pain Centre will be a great asset to Canberra’s south, providing treatment and support to chronic pain sufferers.

“I congratulate Dr Jain and his local team of specialists, doctors, nurses and pharmacists on the opening of the new Centre and the commitment they have shown in providing high-quality care to their patients,” said Ms Stephen-Smith.

For more information, visit ACT Pain Centre. The new ACT Pain Centre is located at Suite 1, 39 Geils Court, Deakin (operating Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 pm).


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27 Responses to New centre to tackle chronic pain head-on
Angela M J Brown Angela M J Brown 7:34 pm 28 Nov 19

Cuts me out I don't have money to spend on that. Oh well another service I can't access. Same old story.

Someonesmother Someonesmother 7:29 pm 28 Nov 19

Very nice but out of reach of most chronic pain sufferers as it is not a bulk billing practice. So most chroic pain sufferers will be stuck with the Canberra Hospital clinic at which you are treated like a junkie, they do not prescribe anything and cognitive behavioural therapy is the go to treatment.

Debbie Thomsen Debbie Thomsen 12:08 am 24 Nov 19

I've been seeing Dr Jain at Canberra Hospital's pain management unit for a little while now. He has really helped me with my chronic back pain. BTW I'm a public patient without any healthcare card.

Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 9:30 pm 23 Nov 19

Thank goodness they will take public patients

    Angela M J Brown Angela M J Brown 7:31 pm 28 Nov 19

    Only if you pay up front and get the medicare reimbursement after. I just looked it up, they do not bulk bill.

    Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 12:19 am 29 Nov 19

    Ok so the comment that they will not discriminate between people on public or private healthcare is untrue then ?

Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 8:29 pm 23 Nov 19

This is good news

Joy Pink Joy Pink 6:04 pm 23 Nov 19

Lucy Langshaw Danielle Stoll interesting

Katy Jones Katy Jones 5:26 pm 23 Nov 19

Just wondering if anyone knows how this differs from the ACT Pain and Rehabilitation Clinic, which is also in Deakin?

    Vic Franklin Vic Franklin 8:13 pm 23 Nov 19

    Katy Jones different people running it. Looks like they both run on the same treatment philosophy and similar options in terms of health professionals. Not sure if Deakin offers options like infusions, ablations etc, hopefully someone can confirm?

Bridgett Bird Bridgett Bird 4:58 pm 23 Nov 19

Kirsty Sawade, have you heard about this?

    Kirsty Sawade Kirsty Sawade 5:15 pm 23 Nov 19

    Bridgett Bird thanks dude. Yeah I was on the waiting list for 3 years and then they just mucked me around and didn’t really call ect, they kept canceling my appointments 😔 so I gave up.

    Bridgett Bird Bridgett Bird 5:34 pm 23 Nov 19

    Kirsty Sawade This facility opened on Thursday, definitely worth checking it out

    Kirsty Sawade Kirsty Sawade 6:17 pm 23 Nov 19

    Bridgett Bird yeah I’m pretty sure they just moved to this place. It’s still all the same people as there is only one pain managment centre in Canberra, but I could be mistaken. I’ll my doctor next time I see her

    Margaret Lennon Margaret Lennon 7:09 pm 24 Nov 19

    Kirsty Sawade I still think you should see Dr John Monagle he specialises in pain management we see a lot of his patients at work usually with fibro too

Vic Franklin Vic Franklin 3:10 pm 23 Nov 19

However people relying on the public system who can't afford all the appointments that come with attending a multidisciplinary centre are still stuck on the waiting list for the public pain unit at the hospital. Then once you get in all the wonderful things that are promised never eventuate because 'that's the public system'.

    Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 9:32 pm 23 Nov 19

    Vic Franklin the public system at Canberra Hospital is not well funded sadly.

    Vic Franklin Vic Franklin 9:46 am 24 Nov 19

    Aldith Graves that much is obvious ☹️

    Angela M J Brown Angela M J Brown 7:32 pm 28 Nov 19

    and you are treated like a junkie with random urine tests, which I refused as they cannot gaurantee privacy.

    Vic Franklin Vic Franklin 9:13 pm 28 Nov 19

    Angela M J Brown I had to ask for my sample to be labelled with my ID while I was present, because the norm was to 'pop the samples with the files and label them later' 😳

Kiki Maree Kiki Maree 2:31 pm 23 Nov 19

Karrena, for Adam!

Juliane Samara Juliane Samara 12:20 pm 23 Nov 19

Nice work Sivaraj Rajadorai!

Nevena Brezoska Nevena Brezoska 11:20 am 23 Nov 19

You wish!

Milan Stojanov Milan Stojanov 10:41 am 23 Nov 19

Bulk billing??

Myrene Hickey Myrene Hickey 10:34 am 23 Nov 19

Congratulations. I wish you well and feel so happy that at long last a clinic is now available for people to attend, who are suffering chronic pain.

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