The Charter emphasizes the following concerns about pain:

  • pain is a disease, not a symptom
  • consumers should advocate for a greater awareness of chronic pain
  • patients would benefit from better professional guidance to help them with information from various sources
  • family doctors and nurses could take on a more involved role in treating the whole individual with pain
  • patients have rights and responsibilities and can work together with healthcare professionals, taking active part in their own care
  • children and elderly or those who are cognitively impaired have the right to have their caregivers involved in their care


Pain patients are entitled to:
1. have their reports of pain taken seriously
2. receive compassionate and sympathetic care
3. have treatment/care, follow-up and periodic reassessment
4. actively participate, or have their parents or caregivers participate, in their treatment plan development
5. timely access to best practice care
6. have adequate information in order to consent to their treatment
7. information and support, including access to health records


To the extent they are able, patients or their parents or caregivers are responsible:
1. to be knowledgeable about pain
2. to engage in open communication with their healthcare providers
3. to actively participate in their own care and in decisions about their care in partnership with healthcare
4. to do their best to comply with their treatment
5. to advocate for better pain management



Here are some facts from their press kit:

"Pain is a silent epidemic in Canada. Between 17-31% of people report chronic pain. Fifty percent of hospitalized patients report acute pain of moderate to severe intensity.

Pain costs Canadians hugely--both in terms of humans suffering and in real dollars. It is estimated that annual direct medical costs for chronic pain management to be between $10,000-14,000 per patient.

Pain treatment is a right of patients and an obligation of healthcare professionals. Yet, pain goes almost unmentioned in medical training, There is scant training in pain specialists and a severe shortage of acute pain services and pain clinics in hospital settings. In-hospital patients with pain from non-surgical conditions are less likely to have their pain taken seriously enough to be treated. Outpatients who report pain of chronic duration are often dismissed or accused of malingering."








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