Interview with PAE President Joop Van Griensven
This short interview by Linda Whitney features PAE President, Joop Van Griensven in the Managing Pain campaign launched by Media Planet.
You may find here the printed version of the campaign featuring other interesting articles, also from EFIC’s President Bart Morlion, bringing the HCP’s point of view to complete the analysis.
“A new World Health Organization (WHO) ruling, making chronic pain a stand-alone disease, promises better treatment for patients – but national governments must be convinced to implement the changes.
In Europe, one in five people over 21 suffers chronic pain – over 100 million daily – and the risk rises with age. Almost all over-90s are affected.
“Chronic pain (CP) patients have suffered in silence for too long. But this year, CP was listed by the WHO as a disease. In the past, CP has only been covered by national health insurance systems when treated as a side-effect of another diagnosed condition. As a disease in itself, more people will get access to treatment and better patient education,” says Joop van Griensven, President of Pain Alliance Europe (PAE), which represents over 350,000 CP patients. For this to happen, however, national governments must incorporate the WHO decision into their national healthcare systems.
PAE is campaigning for this. “Patients can make themselves visible by speaking out about CP, and asking parliaments to implement the changes,” says van Griensven.
PAE, patients’ associations and healthcare professionals are using the Societal Impact of Pain SIP international platform to gather data and patient opinions to build a case to persuade states to implement the changes and to seek out pockets of best practice and share them.
Patient education will also help. “Physical activity early on helps combat chronic pain later,” says van Griensven. “Try putting the office printer on the next floor.”
“Doing nothing about CP results in higher costs to society. Taking action will mean cost savings and happier citizens.” “