By Dr Malcolm Hogg
Whilst the year draws to a close, preparation for the coming year’s activities continue. The timetable for our 35th ASM in Brisbane (15-18th March) is almost set, with posters and free papers selected (thanks to all those who submitted), and international speakers engaged (Prof Herta Flor, Dr Mary Lynch, Dr Frank Porecca, Dr Tim Deer), complimented with a top field of invited Australian speakers. Registration is now open, with the program available for review on our website.
In recognition of our 35th scientific meeting, the executive commissioned a historical review which is underway and planned for release in Brisbane. The small community in pain management worked collectively to establish the discipline, with steady growth thereafter securing the Society’s future. We are now considering our role in the health care evolution, with an emphasis on member education, supporting the development of new models of service delivery, and research agendas. The society seeks engagement in the processes of reviewing the Australian Health Service standards, introduction of federal-state activity based funding,, and workforce development programs in various states. With our support of painaustralia, the society believes it has established a structure to effectively lobby for appropriate change, in order to further strengthen the field of pain medicine in the Australian health care system now and in the future..
Discipline specific organisations are increasingly aware of these changes, developing position statements and pain special interest groups for their members. It is imperative that the Society, and its members, take opportunities to promote the benefits of multidisciplinary care: this will ensure a flexible workforce and care models for our patients. Opportunities for translational research will flow from advances in the neuro- and social-sciences if service teams and their administrators remain committed and enthused to support change implementation.
Our history project should celebrate our Society’s achievements, and the Society’s executive is hopeful the project will generate impetus to deal with the challenges ahead – challenges we should embrace. Thank you for your support and ongoing membership of the Society, and best wishes for the new year ahead.