The Australian Men's Health Forum today released a report rating the state of male health in Australia.
The Men’s Health Report Card 2019 produced by the Australian Men’s Health Forum (AMHF) highlights a number of areas of concern including the fact that men in Australia are dying six years younger than women on average.
AMHF, the national peak body for men’s health, is calling on politicians at federal, state and territory level to invest more time, money and resources into improving the lives and health of men and boys.
AMHF President Jonathan Bedloe said:
“This report card on the state of men and boys’ health in Australia tells us we must do better.
“Our sons are less educated than our daughters. Our brothers die younger than our sisters. Our fathers are more likely to die at work than our mothers. Our male friends are more likely to die by suicide than our female friends.
“The solution to these problems is not to stop working to improve the lives of women and girls, but to increase our efforts to tackle the issues facing men and boys. This means investing more time, money and resources into helping health services become more male-friendly and focused on the needs of men and boys.
“It also means looking at the wider social factors that shape men’s health, which include boys’ education, our experiences of fatherhood, our working lives, our financial wellbeing and our social connections.”
According to the report, which brings together the latest available data from a range of Government sources:
- 4 times more men under 65 die from more heart disease than women the same age
- 1 in 3 men die of cancer compared with 1 in 4 women
- 3 in 4 suicides are men (with 6 men and 2 women dying each day on average)
- 93% of workplace fatalities are men
- 3 in 4 road fatalities are male, with 3 men and boys a day dying in road accidents
The report also highlights some of the broader social issues that are known to impact men and boys’ health such as education, employment, finances and family life. According to the most recent Government data:
- boys are 50% more likely than girls to drop out of school before the end of year 12
- 1 in 3 new fathers are not married
- 1 in 5 children live in lone-parent families
- around two million men are experiencing economic insecurity
- the number of men not in the labour force has risen by 180% since 1978, five times the rate at which the number of women not in the labour force has risen.
AMHF says Australia is one of the few countries in the world that has developed a national men’s health strategy. AMHF CEO Glen Poole said:
“The National Men’s Health Strategy calls on governments at all levels to address the unique needs of men and boys through their policies, programs and services,” said Poole.
“To date, just two states have developed a men’s health strategy and most government initiatives to improve our physical and mental health aren’t specifically targeted at men and boys.
“The statistics uncovered in our report on the current state of male health in Australia demonstrate that there is much work still to do. The National Men’s Health Strategy, launched in April, was a vital step forward. We now need to see all levels of Government investing more, time, money and resources into initiatives that improve the lives and health of men and boys.”