Thank you for inviting me here today. I am pleased to be able to join you in what will likely be one of my last events that I attend as a patron.
Being here today is an opportunity for me to support your work, and to acknowledge the people who are making it possible.
When I was approached to be the patron of the Pain Foundation I was interested because it aligns with a couple of themes that I’ve chosen to support.
First of all, because of my interest in health and well-being, and second, because the statistics prove that chronic pain is a too common problem in New Zealand.
When I met Dr Kanji, I saw and heard how passionate he was about solving the puzzle of pain, and it reinforced my decision to be the patron.
With so many New Zealanders affected by chronic pain, we need new, innovative solutions.
We all know someone who suffers from chronic pain. And, we can see the impact that it has on their lives, and the lives of their loved ones.
(Comment about Jerry)
Researchers have found that many people, and especially Māori, often have had negative experiences within the health system, and so are less likely to seek help with pain relief. Equally, given the dependencies and side-effects that can develop with a reliance on drug therapy, others baulk at seeking treatment. And so it is a great relief for people to know that they can come to the Pain Foundation to get a fresh diagnosis and effective, alternative treatment options.
The work of the Pain Foundation has the potential to relieve the pain and suffering of a significant proportion of our population. It could also address the huge cost in lost time off work for chronic pain sufferers.
I think the research being done by Dr Kanji and the Pain Foundation on low back pain for example will be of great interest to researchers and health practitioners, both here in New Zealand and overseas.
Finally, I am very much looking forward to hearing about how your research into self-administered treatments is going and what you are learning.