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AUSTRALIAN HEALTH ministers
have agreed to pursue the
recognition of pain as a chronic
disease, referring the matter to
the Australian Health Ministers'
NSW Health Minister Jillian
Skinner said she asked federal,
state and territory health
ministers at the Standing Council
on Health (SCOH) on June 14 to
support the bid.
The move would bring it into
line with other diseases and
validate it as a disease in its own
right, not just a secondary disease
or a symptom of another illness.
In May ACT Health released
a five year 'Chronic Conditions
Strategy', in which chronic pain
was identified for the first time as a
separate chronic condition.
ACT Health Directorate
Director-General, Dr Peggy
Brown said chronic pain was an
invisible condition that needed to
be actively managed using the
Minister Skinner said
national recognition would be
an important step to improve
treatment and access to services
for the one in five Australians who
suffer chronic or persistent pain.
"It is estimated that 80 per cent
of people who suffer from chronic
pain miss out on treatment that
could improve their health and
quality of life," said Mrs Skinner.
"This recognition is important
so that patients are identified
earlier and can access the
appropriate care they need."
The national push coincides
with the release of the NSW
government's $26 million four-
year 'Pain Management Plan'.
In it the government has
• expanding the number of pain
clinics in NSW, especially in
• increasing the number of expert
pain management clinicians
• funding research to support the
effective management of pain
in the community
Chronic pain costs the Australian
economy an estimated $34 billion
per year and is the nation's third
most costly health problem.
Minister Skinner said she
would make it her priority to
achieve a nationally-consistent
approach to chronic pain. n
AUSTRALIA'S CHARITY regulator
and its counterpart for corporate
and financial services have
formally agreed to work together
to reduce red tape for the nation's
The heads of the Australian
Charities and Not-for-profits
Commission (ACNC) and
the Australian Securities &
Investments Commission (ASIC),
which is Australia's corporate,
markets and financial services
regulator, have signed a
memorandum of understanding
(MOU) to deliver streamlined
regulation for registered
charities also listed with ASIC
Susan Pascoe said the MOU
formalised the two agencies'
"This MOU will help the
ACNC to promote, maintain,
and enhance public trust
and confidence in the charity
sector," she said.
Greg Medcraft said the
the agencies would
reduce overlap across
The MOU allows
for information sharing,
taskforces and service
The agreement does not
affect the legal position on what
information may or may not be
disclosed to the other agency.
As announced last year,
the estimated 6000 charities
registered with ASIC now
primarily report to the ACNC
and do not need to pay the
ASIC annual review fee from
1 July 2013.
There is no fee to report to
the ACNC or to become a
which launched in
December last year,
has already signed
an MOU with the
Office (ATO) for
entering into and
the ATO and
ACNC for services,
exchanges of information
or other activities.
At the time it outlined the
'report-once, use-often reporting
framework' it would utilise via
a Charity Passport.
The passport contains
data which charities will report
once to the ACNC to meet
corporate and financial
The charity passport is
scheduled to be active from
December 2014. n
Ministers move to recognise
pain as a chronic disease
Regulators to cut red tape
One in five Australians suffer
from chronic or persistent pain.
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