May 6, 2021 - Ottawa, ON - The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) welcomes the final report by the Canadian Pain Task Force, An Action Plan for Pain in Canada, released to the public on May 5, 2021 by Health Canada. The report lays out numerous recommendations to improve outcomes for the nearly eight million Canadians living with chronic pain and calls for national action to reduce pain's impact on individuals, families, communities, and society.
CDA joins leading pain and pain-related organizations, institutions, and advocates across the country to support the recommendations in An Action Plan for Pain in Canada and to call for their implementation.
The report makes dozens of targeted recommendations in support of its calls for:
- National leadership to make pain a public health priority.
- Equitable access to timely, evidence-based, and person-centred pain care and supports for all Canadians, no matter where they live.
- Improved education for health professionals, the public, and people with pain in order to improve pain management and reduce stigma.
- Further investments in research on pain and pain treatments and better support for translating new knowledge into real world impact.
- Improved data collection to effectively monitor pain and its impacts.
- Equitable access to care and support for communities disproportionately impacted by pain, including Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, LGBTQ2S+ communities, people who use drugs, people with mental illness, people with disabilities, workers, children and youth, women, people who are incarcerated, and veterans.
"Three to 12% of Canadians suffer from orofacial pain, a condition characterized by the chronic presence of pain of the face, jaw joints and jaws. For many of these individuals, their dentist is the best person to help them manage that pain through a combination of approaches which may or may not include using medication," says Dr. Benoit Soucy, Director of Clinical and Scientific Affairs at CDA. "Since there is no one-size-fits all approach to oral health treatment and pain management, patients are always encouraged to keep their dentist up to date on any changes in their health or current medications, and to talk about various options to safely manage pain based on their individual circumstances."
The Canadian Pain Task Force was formed by the Government of Canada in April 2019 to assess the current state of pain in Canada and to recommend an improved approach to addressing pain in our country. An Action Plan for Pain in Canada is the third and final report from the Canadian Pain Task Force. Read its previous two reports here.
About the Canadian Dental Association
The Canadian Dental Association is the national voice for dentistry dedicated to the promotion of optimal oral health, an essential component of general health, and to the advancement and leadership of a unified profession. CDA is a federation of Canada's provincial and territorial dental associations, representing over 21,000 practising dentists from coast to coast to coast.
Canadian Dental Association