• Pain relief treatments

On November 22, 2014 in Rimini (Italy) the issue of Pain has been the focus of the European Day for Health Rights, organized by SIHA with the participation of the highest European institutions, medical-scientific companies  and patient organizations from all over Europe.

During the day the International Advisory Board on Pain Relief Treatment was held, with the attendance of physicians, experts, patients and representatives of institutions organized in two technical workgroups: Table of Palliative Care and Table of Chronic Pain.

The major result of the day is represented by the drawing up of the “European Charter of the Rights of Citizens over 65 with Chronic Pain”, signed by the main European organizations of patients and senior citizens, such as SIHA Senior International Health Association, Pain Alliance Europe e FederAnziani Senior Italia. The Charter was officially submitted to the Italian Minister of Health, Beatrice Lorenzin, and to the Chairman of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella, and by the latter submitted to the examination of the European Parliament Intergroup on active Aging, intergenerational solidarity and family policies.

One European in five suffers from chronic pain and one European in four suffers of severe chronic pain; this totals 100 million people in the 28 EU countries alone, half of them do not receive any treatment or is not even taken seriously. On average, people with chronic pain live for only seven years following diagnosis.

The European Charter of the Rights of Citizens over 65 with Chronic Pain has established the following rights:

  1. Right to be believed by health care professionals, public administration and politicians.
  2. Right to be informed in an appropriate way for elderly people in their language, involving patients’ associations or organisations representing individuals.
    • on both therapies and medical devices
    • on specialized pain management centres for chronic pain in all European countries
    • on diagnostic and care pathways that should be standard at European level.
  3. Right to diagnosis, appropriate treatment and follow up for people suffering from chronic pain to take control of their own life.
    Informing the elderly patient of the right to eliminate/reduce the pain and not accept pain as an inevitable event.
  4. Right to free and informed choice explained by the medical practitioner in an understandable way, supported by the family doctor, and also shared with the caregiver.
  5. Right to equality regardless of age, gender and nationality.
    The elderly patient has the right to be treated for chronic pain regardless of gender, age, state of mental health, and socioeconomic status.
  6. Right of access to appropriate and timely chronic pain therapy.
  7. Right to continuity of care
    Whatever care is provided must be guaranteed over time, in the modality and in the locations required.
  8. Right to innovative treatment
  9. Right to be treated by an educated health care professionals
  10.  Right to receive pain education