Provincial Pain Summit 2017

2017 Provincial Pain Summit Report Back


From February 17-19 2017, hundreds of people in pain, health care providers, researchers, government leaders, and more came together for Pain BC’s Provincial Pain Summit. It was a highly successful weekend of not just dialogue, but also of identifying goals aimed at transforming care and reducing stigma for the 1 in 5 British Columbians living with chronic pain.

“As a person living with pain attending gave me a sense of empowerment. Many of my pain doctors and professionals were in attendance. As their patient hearing their views has transformed my understanding of them. I feel more hope and caring hearing the passion. I feel as though I can help make things better for myself and others.” – Summit attendee

Over the weekend, learnings and challenges were shared, and these informed the five theme-based working sessions addressed over the course of the Summit. On the last day of the Summit, representatives from the Ministry of Health, health authorities, Doctors of BC, health professional associations, clinical experts, people in pain, and caregivers reviewed key findings from the thematic sessions and developed 10 key actions to move forward with, based on those findings.

Participants committed to:

  1. Create allied health training
  2. Create a Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Pain Program
  3. Develop opioid / medication stewardship
  4. Create billing codes for chronic pain
  5. Create a strategy for the public reframing of opioid use, addiction and pain
  6. Create a BC Pain Agency
  7. Develop and promote self-management in all BC communities
  8. Establish a unified approach to chronic pain education in primary care
  9. Develop trauma informed care in every pain program
  10. Enable early intervention, beginning in the community

 “As a health care provider, I was pleased to see that the public was well represented, but also the amount of other health care providers that were involved surprised me. I am happy to see that many want to be a part of change. I am hopeful.” – Summit attendee

An overarching theme that emerged, too, was the call for a Provincial Pain Strategy. This was addressed by Minister of Health, the Hon.Terry Lake, who attended the Summit on the final day: “My hope is that while we develop a provincial pain strategy we will be able to give the right signals to all the health authorities to put the appropriate tools in place as well provide more tools for the primary care teams to address complex and chronic pain.”

Pain BC, the Ministry of Health, and partner organizations represented at the Summit are committed to taking forward recommendations for the action items identified during the Summit. The Pain BC team will continue to review summaries of the breakout sessions and work with champions and collaborators to advance work coming from the Summit. We are also working with supporting organizations and engaging the public to help raise chronic pain and the Provincial Pain Strategy as an election issue. Working groups will continue to be established and resources allocated to take forward specific actions.  Pain BC will  also continue to track actions against commitments made and milestones will be reported through the Pain BC website, social media channels, and monthly newsletter.


Thanks to Our Supporters

The Pain Summit was supported by the Government of British Columbia and WorkSafeBC.

Government of British Columbia
WorkSafe BC

Pain BC would like to acknowledge that the Provincial Pain Summit was held on the traditional land of the Coast Salish Peoplein particular the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.