RACGP calls for system-wide reform for pain management in Australia

Paul Hayes

27/10/2017 12:00:00 AM

The RACGP has called for system-wide reform for pain management in Australia ahead of the release of the latest part of its Prescribing drugs of dependence in general practice. The college wants to ensure a better balance between quality management and minimising harms.

New RACGP opioid guidelines
New RACGP opioid guidelines

‘For many people, good pain management can transform their quality of life, allowing them to work, be active and participate in the community rather than being functionally disabled,’ RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel said. ‘Unfortunately, what we have been seeing is an exploitation of painkilling medications.’
According to Dr Seidel, Prescribing drugs of dependence in general practice – Part C1: Opioids and Part C2: The role of opioids in pain management – has been produced primarily in response to increasing concerns about the use and safety of opioids.
The RACGP wants significant changes within the health system to improve pain services and minimise harms. The RACGP has called for:

  • nationally consistent laws and regulations regarding opioids
  • up-scheduling of codeine
  • national real-time prescription monitoring
  • improved methods of national and primary health network monitoring of opioid prescriptions
  • improved methods of evaluating serious harms (deaths and hospitalisation) from prescription drugs
  • improved funding models to support chronic pain management
  • hospital physicians, surgeons, pain specialists and hospital pharmacists to adopt improved and consistent opioid medication plans on discharge
  • all general practices to improve clinical governance within their practices by adopting uniform policies and procedures to improve management of opioid within their practices.

opioids pain painkillers pain-management RACGP

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Dr Andrew Montgomery   15/07/2018 2:50:59 AM

There is no need to re invent the wheel
The Portugese model works.
The deletion of Fentanyl and Oxycodone from circulation combined with non hysterical General Praftice leadership would be a start.