Australians living with chronic pain would have access to up to 20 Medicare-funded services each year to help manage the condition under a new national strategy.
The plan also calls for a new pain medicine certificate that would encourage doctors to prescribe fewer drugs to deal with pain, instead ordering exercise and psychological management strategies
Doctors could get the certificate through six months of study, while a new website would be launched to educate people more broadly about managing pain without drugs.
The strategy has been developed by Pain Australia, after consultation with others involved in pain management, after the federal government committed funding and support for a plan in May 2018.
It will be presented to the states and territories for endorsement at the Council of Australian Governments' meeting in the coming weeks.
The plan comes as one-in-five Australians live with chronic pain, including some adolescents and children.
The prevalence rises to one-in-three people over 65, with a total of 3.24 million people grappling with ongoing pain nationally.
Pain Australia chief executive Carol Bennett says the organisation wants better education about pain, both for those experiencing it and health professionals.
The condition can contribute to a spate of problems including opioid dependency, depression, loss of income and worse mental health, she stressed.
"Australia now has the opportunity to lead the world with the implementation of the first, fully funded government response to comprehensively addressing the burden of pain," Ms Bennett said.
Under the plan, people will have access to a public database where they can learn which health professionals have completed the new pain course.
Doctors would also have access to special Medicare rebates if they have completed the program.
People experiencing pain would have access to up to 10 individual services and 10 group services through Medicare each year to manage their condition.
That would be similar to the Better Access scheme that currently helps people deal with mental health issues.
A spokesman for Health Minister Greg Hunt says he's looking forward to formally receiving the plan, which is to be reviewed by his state and territory colleagues.
The federal government has not committed outright to backing its Medicare recommendations, but a review of everything that's available is in progress.
"The government is already undertaking a review of Medicare, and will consider the how it could better support people with pain management," the spokesman said.
The coalition set aside $6.8 million for pain management in its latest budget.
The funds include $2.5 million over four years from July for three specific projects, with awareness-raising by Pain Australia among them.
There is also $4.3 million over four years to ensure better pain support for people in rural areas.
Australian Associated Press