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SIP 2017 - Key Statement

Joop van Griensven – Pain Alliance Europe (PAE), Belgium

"We would have a society in which we accept everyone just as he is, without any prejudice."

Joop van Griensven
Pain Alliance Europe

As president of Pain Alliance Europe I’m excited to be a small part of this 2017 SIP program.

Excited as the program tackles a lot of topics which eventually will improve the quality of life of people with chronic pain in Europe. Something all of us at PAE have been striving for since we began.

Personally it is an honor to have the opportunity to express the feelings of the chronic pain patients at this event, being the voice of people with chronic pain in Europe. I know I’m just one of them, one of the over 100 million chronic pain patients.

For me, the best possible care for people with chronic pain is to start by believing them. If that isn’t happening, all that we are trying to do to improve the environment for the chronic pain patient will not have any effect. Believe the patient, believe his story, believe his possibilities, believe and honor his wishes in reaching goals.

If we could agree on that, the personal story of each individual chronic pain patient will lead any follow up. If we could get rid of our stigmatic image of the chronic pain patient. If we could consider to see the chronic pain patient as a normal, thinking human being. We need to be able to do that, all of us: society at large, healthcare professionals, researchers, policymakers, politicians, industry, social security insurance companies, all the stakeholders present at SIP.

Yes, then we could attain a society in which we still have chronic pain but it will be manageable and the patients will still have an independent life according to their wishes and options. We would have a society which doesn’t forget about people who have a problem.