National Pain Plan in Portugal
Alexandre Diniz (Executive Coordinator) – Directorate-General for Health, Portugal
The National Program for Pain Management emerged from the need to define new objectives and new operational strategies, as a follow-up to the NPFAP and using the experience gained so far. Hence, in order to obtain epidemiologic knowledge on pain and its distribution in the Portuguese population, to reinforce the organizational capacity of health care service providers, and to improve best practice models regarding pain management, this new National Program for Pain Management should be developed through the implementation, at national, regional, and local levels, of new strategies for intervention, professional development, and data collection and analysis.
The National Program for Pain Management is incorporated into the National Health Plan 2004–2010, intersecting with and complementing other national programs in the fields of cancer, rheumatic diseases, and palliative care.
The implementation of the National Program for Pain Management presupposes the participation and collaboration of various health care bodies, namely primary health care, hospitals, the Integrated Network for Continuing Care, institutions of higher education, professional associations, and scientific societies, without precluding the inclusion of other public or private institutions from cooperating as needed, during the course of implementation. The Portuguese Association for the Study of Pain constitutes the permanent scientific interlocutor of the Directorate-General for Health in all aspects of the development, implementation, and evaluation of this program.
The current document was drafted by the Directorate-General for Health, within the scope of action of the Monitoring Committee for the National Program for the Fight Against Pain.