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ACC's injury prevention activities applauded

"ACC is to be congratulated for its support of injury prevention and rehabilitation activities, reflecting the Government's priorities for the new accident insurance scheme," says Acting Minister for Accident Insurance Ruth Dyson.

"The social and financial significance of promoting effective injury prevention and rehabilitation programmes is being highlighted this week at an ACC-sponsored international conference in Wellington focusing on back pain.

"Nine out of 10 New Zealanders can expect to get acute back pain at some stage in their lives. Back pain causes significant costs in terms of suffering, lost work time, treatment and compensation, yet much of it is preventable or can be effectively self-managed.

"The cost measured in ACC claims alone gives an idea of the impact that the common 'bad back' is having on the community. Back injuries and pain cost around $46 million each year in new ACC claims and the cost of ongoing claims is more than $300 million.

"The guide to back pain management aimed at employers, released at the conference today, will be a valuable tool in reducing much of the avoidable suffering and costs," says Ms Dyson. This guide will complement earlier guides produced by ACC and the National Health Committee aimed at treatment providers and patients.

The "Spine in Action Conference" opened at Te Papa yesterday and continues today.

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