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SIP 2017 - Key Statement

Sam Kynman – European Pain Federation EFIC, Belgium

"The societal impact of pain is poorly understood and still massively underappreciated. Pain medicine is growing in importance, and healthcare practitioners, represented by the European Pain Federation EFIC, will need to play a crucial role in mitigating the impact of pain on individuals and society in the future."



Sam Kynman
Executive Director
European Pain Federation EFIC

Taking on the role of Executive Director at the European Pain Federation EFIC in March this year was an exciting challenge. I worked in politics for five years in the UK and, focusing in the final two years on EU health policy. After working for a global public affairs agency on EU health policy for a further three years, the opportunity at the European Pain Federation presented itself. The Societal Impact of Pain platform was my major project whilst working for the public affairs agency, and I have grown familiar with the challenges faced by the European Pain Federation, and the opportunities ahead of it to grow in significance and impact.

The last Societal Impact of Pain symposium was a major milestone on the path to achieving significant change within health policies and, eventually, health systems. The policy recommendations that emerged from the 2016 symposium should be built on by the partners and collaborating organisations taking part in this year’s symposium. I have personally seen that the door of the European Commission is open for our ideas.

Beyond the Societal Impact of Pain platform, the European Pain Federation are making great strides in terms of establishing a Europe-wide educational approach to pain medicine, via a Core Curriculum, an Examination, and a Diploma. Some policies are fundamental to tackling the societal impact of pain, but we will also hopefully see positive change via a wider understanding of pain medicine and the elevation of healthcare professionals with a deeper grasp of pain conditions.