Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (12:52:41):
My constituency question is for the Minister for Health. My constituent has been diagnosed with chronic pain disorder, which for her evolved out of severe endometriosis, which required a number of surgeries.
Despite having a successful career, she suffers silently with daily pain as well as severe and debilitating attacks. She is not alone.
One in five Victorians are affected by chronic pain. Nationally 3.24 million Australians live with chronic pain, resulting in $73.2 billion annually in lost productivity. Despite its prevalence, my constituent continues to feel stigmatised, particularly by those in the medical profession.
Interactions with medical professionals can involve ignorance or the thinly veiled suspicion of addiction. She often feels forced to have to prove she is ill despite copious medical documents.
My constituent asks: what is the minister doing to address this type of devaluing stigma and enhance the understanding of chronic pain?
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Constituency question asked 13/8 /9