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20th edition of the Societal Impact of Pain (SIP) newsletter

Prof. Bart Morlion – Multidisciplinary Pain Centre of the University of Leuven, Belgium

Dear Reader,

As 2018 draws to a close, the Social Impact of Pain (SIP) initiative can be proud of its achievements in the past 12 months. 

Our greatest achievement at European level was the development and presentation of the final Joint Statement by the Social Impact of Pain (SIP) Thematic Network (TN) team, on 12 November, to the European Commission, which welcomed its findings and proposals. This Joint Statement and the accompanying Framing Paper were the result of the SIP TN team’s hard work through active collection and analysis of pivotal information, continuous dialogue with the European Commission and interested stakeholders, as well as incorporating stakeholder feedback received from the two live Commission-organised webinars. The Joint Statement was also presented at the Brain, Mind, and Pain Group in the European Parliament on 21 November and at the European Public Health (EPH) Conference on 29 November, in Ljubljana. 

The goals of the SIP Joint Statement are (1) to promote pain as health quality indicator, (2) to promote further research on pain, (3) to address chronic pain as a factor in employment, (4) to promote pain education of healthcare professionals, patients and society at large. The Thematic Network programme has been a unique chance in 2018 to create enormous awareness on the objectives and activities of the European SIP Platform and to connect with other European initiatives. The next step in 2019 will be to garner further support for the Joint Statements’ proposals and implement them via the SIP European and national Platforms, the Joint Statement’s endorsers, and other interested partners and stakeholders. 

To date, the Joint Statement has received endorsements from over 50 organisations. Endorsements are open to all until 25 January 2019. We welcome your support and endorsement of the Joint Statement. If your organisation wishes to endorse the SIP Joint Statement, please write to vittoria.carraro@efic.org. Your endorsement will appear in the Joint Statement infographic that provides a short visual representation of our recommendations, therefore we would very much appreciate if you could send us the logo of your organisation. 

Great achievements were also gained by our national SIP Platforms in 2018 following the same strategy and structure as the EU SIP platform. We have seen a huge growth in our national SIP network with the establishment of national platforms in Belgium, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. Remarkably, they have already had some noteworthy achievements, such as SIP France hosting a meeting in the French Parliament in October. Moreover, in December several national SIP meetings took place – notably the SIP Spain meeting with the Ministry of Health on 11 December, and SIP Portugal organising a workshop on 11 December. 

We are excited about the achievements made at European and national level and hope to build on them further in 2019. 

On behalf of the SIP partners, I would like to thank you for the great collaboration and endorsement of the SIP initiative in 2018. I wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday and a good start to the new year! 

Warm wishes,

Prof. Bart Morlion

Director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Centre of the University of Leuven, Belgium
President of the European Pain Federation (EFIC)®

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