chronic pain

5 petitions

Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to DHHS - Vic, Jenny Mikakos, Mellisa Horne, Tim Watts

States, Territories & Cth. review+overhaul to chronic pain mgmt (opioid use/ m/marijuana)

Dear Supporter, Despite medical marijuana laws passed by the Federal Parliament,  Victorian Government, and likely others throughout Australia; many GP's and Pain specialists alike are unaware of their ability to:  Prescribe the medicinal marijuana medication(s) What medication is available in Australia, including the one (Sativex) currently approved by the Federal Therapeutic Goods Administration What permits must be obtained from the Commonwealth and State alike? (e.g. a Schedule 8 permit from DHHS, and a category two import permit from the Office of Drug Control for 'unlicensed' (Non-TGA - Therapeutic Goods Administration) "poisons" Are there other additional administrative burdens for prescribers, does the Federal Office of Drug Control require any ongoing communication or notifications, compliance monitoring reporting? Do the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, in particular, require anything over and above those as mentioned earlier for the doctor to prescribe ongoing treatment? The above is NOT known by most health practitioners I have encountered in VIC, and I can only assume from the responses thus far, this is the case nationwide.  While the necessary information is publicly available, after an in-depth investigation, the government isn't doing enough to give comfort to GP's: who could be tapering patients down from dangerous levels of opioids, gabapentoids and other adjuncts. I acknowledge, and respect that not all health practitioners are supportive of medicinal cannabis as a form of treatment for chronic pain, which moves to me to the second segment of my request.  The current strategy for long term pain management in Australia is not working. This being the use of multiple pharmaceuticals including opioids (which are being forcibly removed in some cases - despite their being effective for some chronic pain patients), benzodiazepines, antidepressants, anti-epileptics and many others with "off label" indications. Many of these drugs have unacceptable side effects and leave patients in dissociative states barely able to function, yet they still suffer; often in silence. This silence is driven from fear, stigmatisation (Many doctors and pharmacists behaviour toward Chronic Pain patients issued with strong pain killers is on the verge of abusive) and a belief they have reached the end of the line in treatment. Chronic pain often co-exists with depression, due to the ongoing struggles in daily life, and thus, these additional burdens have the potential to drive people over the edge. For anyone reading this petition, whom this resonates with, know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. IF you need to speak to someone, follow this link: Since additional controls (SafeScript) have been introduced throughout Victoria in effort to reduce patient harm and drug diversion, this has, without intent; resulted in yet further stigma on those who use opioid therapy to maintain a reasonable quality of life. Pharmacists have refused to dispense legitimate prescriptions due to fear of audit, deflecting blame to the DoH/DHHS (Instead of having an informed discussion with the patient). The new RAG (Red Amber Green) warning system within SafeScript play a significant role within this behaviour Patients are often unaware they are then flagged due to the dose of the medication they are taking, or in the instance of a flare-up of an existing condition, should they need additional medication - this is likely to result is a Red flag in the system. Doctors are reluctant to prescribe because of the new "MED" (Morphine equivalent dose guidelines /Amber/Red Flag in Victorias SafeScript), as well as warning letters sent out nationally from the Federal Health minister informing them their opioid prescribing is being watched (This led to some patients being 'dropped and left without ANY medication). Whilst this may, in some instances, help patients, or detect where interventions are required, at present, it's causing undue suffering across the chronic pain community. I would ask that rather than simply following suit of the CDC (Centers for disease control) in the USA for dosing guidelines, we use an individualised approach to chronic opioid therapy based on Australian evidence & input from the chronic pain community, health professionals and the like.  The fact that death by rapid opioid withdrawal is 7-14x more likely than death by opioid overdose is overlooked (7x for mild chronic pain, 14x for severe). Not to mention the fact that risk of suicide is already 3-4x higher in pain patients, and doubles in response to stigma, cannot be overlooked when making such profound legislative moves across Australia.  There is conflicting advice from many specialists in their field as to whether medical marijuana should be considered to treat patient's suffering with chronic pain. However, my stance is this, and if it allows the patient to achieve a high degree of pain relief and further, removes or reduces their need for long term opioid therapy, I would consider it a profound success (with medical supervision). There have been a number of jurisdictions worldwide who have instituted programs and seen astonishing results. I would ask that both the federal and states & Territories Governments work together to: A. Help deliver education to the primary care network on GPs ability to prescribe, and the current medicinal marijuana medications available. This should include all legislative requirements the practitioners must adhere to.    B. Commission a report on the effectiveness of medical marijuana for chronic pain. This study should include those already receiving treatment in Australia but more so, include an in-depth analysis of other jurisdictions laws, patient profiles and results on the reduction of opiates and other medications or in many cases total elimination (based on available data sets).    C. Consider developing/uplifting a centralised Long term strategy that aligns with all states and territories, or one of which they can draw from and subsequently legislate ensuring that our most vulnerable citizens feel empowered despite their medical condition(s). This needs to include Medical Marijuana.    D. Invest a great deal more in chronic pain management, an area without much support or funding (especially in mental health), new Medicare item numbers should be an option, especially with regard to trial treatments of medical marijuana. Look at the real statistics from opioid use (most opioid-related deaths were due to heroin, an illicit drug - not prescribed by any medical professional in Australia) and always remember that these medicines are often a tool used by patients to achieve a relative quality of life and maintain being contributing, Tax Paying members of our great nation, Australia.

Ben Harrison-Atkinson
293 supporters
Started 4 months ago

Petition to Medicare

Ketamine for Chronic Pain - Public Hospital

Give my own experience, I posted on a support group and there was an outpouring of the number of people that have been given the run-around, received the treatment before but now refused it, only been able to receive it as a private patient (which when most chronic illness warriors are either on the DSP or unemployed  due to their illness and can not afford private health) Ketamine is a highly specialised pain management drug. It was invented in the 1960s for use in anesthesia. These days it is mainly used in disaster relief or emergency anesthesia. Vets often use it as an anesthetic agent. Its use in the management of chronic pain arose when people recovering from anesthesia who had chronic pain reported improvements in their pain, which lasted sometimes for months following the ketamine anesthesia. Research into how best to use ketamine infusions is ongoing. The Wikipedia page for ketamine has a lot of background information regarding the use of ketamine in anesthesia, but only a little information about the type of infusion you will be having. My story comes from 5 years of Fibromyalgia along with other chronic illnesses, after my doctors and specialists recommended Ketamine to me as a 75% chance that I will be free of pain, I was excited BUT that is where it stopped, ever since (over 12 months) I have got the run around and told today it is because Medicare no longer cover Ketamine Infusion!What rubbish, it is an effective pain relief that kees people that are constantly in relentless pain cope with their burden of pain without opioids (oxycodone etc) that have a tendency to be addictive medications.Ketamine is given during an inpatient hospitalisation verse oxycodone that sees countless overdoses each year.Sign this petition, give chronic illness sufferers/ warriors a voice and make this treatment available with Medicare as a public patient.

Nicole Pfeiffer
24 supporters
Update posted 7 months ago

Petition to Josh Frydenberg, Josh Frydenberg

Please remove GST from Remedial Massage in the 2019 budget

There is supposed to be no GST on health services.  We therefore call on the government to remove GST from Remedial Massage and all forms of soft tissue therapy and bodywork in the budget announced for April 2, 2019 This photo demonstrates how just 12 sessions of soft tissue therapy and bodywork dramatically changed the posture and corrected the scoliosis of someone over 65.  If such treatment is not a health service, then what is it? However, the Federal Government has already recognized the efficacy of Remedial Massage and recognized it as a health service. In 2017 it added Remedial Massage to the services that holders of the ADF Family Health Card are entitled to.  ADF Family Health Card holders have $400 per year that they can spend in a variety of ways, including Remedial Massage, with no gap fee. By doing so, the government has recognized the health benefits of Remedial Massage and recognized it as a health service. In 2017, the government dropped about 16 natural therapies from being eligible for health fund rebates.  Retaining Remedial Massage is in itself recognition of its efficacy and is recognition that it is a health service. Additionally, many Remedial Massage Therapists are registered with insurance companies to provide services in Worker's Compensation cases and Motor Vehicle Accidents.  For many people, chronic pain is their permanent companion. People in chronic pain and with problems such as fibromyalgia benefit from regular Remedial Massage. The GST on Remedial Massage inflicts further (financial) pain on the sector of the community who can least afford it. Remedial Massage Therapists, Myotherapists, Soft Tissue Therapists and other body workers compete on a very uneven playing field.  Chiropractors and Physiotherapists, for example, do not have to pay GST.  Massage, when performed by Physiotherapists, does not attract GST.  It is time these anomalies were resolved and GST removed from Remedial Massage and other forms of body work.  All the GST is doing is holding the profession back, as many practitioners deliberately keep their earnings below the GST threshold, and that is not generating any additional tax for the government.   We, the undersigned, Remedial Massage Therapists and bodyworkers and their clients, urge the Government to remove the GST on Remedial Massage and other soft tissue therapies.

clive Galletly
2,974 supporters