In this section, national initiatives which have been set up in Germany can be found.
Day of Action against Pain
“Pain” must become a top priority in healthcare policy
“Pain” must become a top priority in healthcare policy. Professor Michael Schäfer, President of the German Pain Society, demanded this on the occasion of the “Day of Action against Pain”. He urges hospitals to make pain care a quality criterion.
Schäfer emphasises that it is a question of raising awareness of key opinion leaders - policy, health insurance companies and Regional Associations of SHI-accredited Physicians. The aim must now be to improve the care of both chronic and acute pain patients and to eliminate existing deficits. The specialist points out that the care of chronic pain patients in urban areas is good, but in rural areas such as Brandenburg rather poor. However, there are no exact statistics on the subject. The German Pain Society therefore wants to examine supply and demand broken down over 600 regions in Germany. The results, where supply and demand deviate from one another are to be summarised in a pain atlas.
Schäfer describes pain management and acute pain therapy in many hospitals as “not the best”. “In some cases this is neglected due to economic reasons,” he said. The expert calls upon hospitals to recognise pain care as a quality criterion. Franz Wagner, Vice President of the German Nursing Council, picks out staff downsizing as one of the causes of the problems. “We have precarious staffing in nursing but also in other hospital professions,” Wagner explains. This leads to longer reaction times and in addition deterioration in patient care, if they have pain. Wagner's demands include expert nursing staff having to be available in every institution specialised in pain care.
This would ensure both excellent care and advice from colleagues in specialised questions. Both Wagner and Schäfer would like closer cooperation of all professions in the care of pain patients. Physicians, psychologists, physiotherapists, specialised nursing staff, pharmacists and the patients themselves have to work well and intensively together for effective pain therapy. Schäfer emphasises that no single therapist can “know everything and comprehensively combine correct therapy”. The national “Action Day against Pain” is organised by the German Pain Society together with partner organisations annually on the first Tuesday in June.