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Expanding Access to Chronic Pain Treatment for Children

Archived News Release

Expanding Access to Chronic Pain Treatment for Children

Province Putting Patients First by Improving Care at SickKids and Holland-Bloorview

Ministry of Health

Ontario is improving the quality of life for more children and youth living in chronic pain by expanding access to treatments and services at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Holland-Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

The province is investing $293,368 per year in Holland-Bloorview to launch its intensive rehabilitation clinic this spring, the first publicly funded program of its kind in Canada. Through a collaborative partnership between SickKids and Holland-Bloorview, children and youth with chronic pain will now be able to receive highly specialized medical care and therapeutic rehabilitation that was previously only available outside of Canada.

The province is also investing an additional $654,200 per year in SickKids to help more children suffering from ongoing pain such as migraines, backaches, abdominal pain and tendinitis.

Together, these hospitals will now treat approximately 1,325 paediatric chronic pain patients a year compared to 1,000 last year and patients will be able to receive intensive chronic pain care in Ontario.

Starting this spring, SickKids and Holland-Bloorview will also work with three other hospitals across the province as part of a comprehensive network to better assess, prevent, manage and treat paediatric chronic pain patients. Together, the network of hospitals will help children, youth and their families by:

  • Providing care and services from a range of health care workers such as doctors, specialists and counsellors.
  • Ensuring the patient's primary care physician is involved at every step.
  • Reducing wait times, primary care visits and emergency room visits.

Providing children and their families with faster access to the care they need is part of the government's plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that's sustainable for generations to come.

Quick Facts

  • The Paediatric Chronic Pain Network includes SickKids; Holland-Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital; the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa; Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre; and McMaster Children’s Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences Centre.
  • Ontario is investing $3.6 million per year to the Paediatric Chronic Pain Network.
  • It is anticipated that the network will treat an additional 520 children and youth per year.
  • A recent study found that that 11 to 38 per cent of children and adolescents will suffer from chronic pain.
  • Chronic pain can occur as a result of injury, surgery, trauma, childhood illness or unknown causes.
  • Approximately five to eight per cent of these children will develop significant pain-related disability such as social isolation, not attending school, limitations in physical functioning, sleep and mood/anxiety disorders.

Additional Resources


“More children and youth suffering from chronic pain will now have faster access to the care they need through the Paediatric Chronic Pain Network.This integrated approach ensures that more children and their families will have all of their needs met – from physical to psychological and pharmacological – by their dedicated health care team.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Media Contacts



Government Health and Wellness