Chronic pain poorly understood, costing Canada billions
One in five Canadians suffer from chronic pain, and if you're one of the millions affected — and you're lucky — you have a doctor who knows how to treat your symptoms.
But if you need to see a pain specialist, wait times are long. Very long — frequently more than a year. And many live far from the country's publicly funded pain clinics, because large areas of Canada have little or no access to appropriate pain care.
Three quarters of the people waiting for care at Canadian pain clinics say it interferes with their normal work life. More than half suffer from severe levels of depression. And almost 35 per cent report that they've considered suicide.