Better funding could help save 10,000 men’s lives
The Australian Men’s Health Forum (AMHF) has called on the Federal Government to direct more funding towards men’s health to help tackle the gender health gap between men and women.
According to the men’s health peak body, closing the gender health gap could save the lives of more than 10,000 men a year by targeting five priority men’s health issues.
AMHF has called for an initial $100m to be invested in men’s health over a two-year period as part of the Government’s pre-budget consultation process.
The case for action
Australia is one of the world’s healthiest countries, but men born in Australia die nearly 7 years younger than women born in Australia on average (77.8 years for men and 84.5 years for women).
Every year, 27,000 Australians under the age of 75 die from potentially avoidable causes that could be prevented. Approximately 50 men and 25 women die from preventable causes every day.
Reducing the number of potentially avoidable deaths in men under 75 to the same level as women would save the lives of more than 7,000 men a year.
In addition, when we take consider some of the main gender health gaps in mortality that impact men over 75 (including suicide, accidents, alcohol-related deaths and some cancers), AMHF estimates that targeted action to improve men’s health could save the lives of more than 10,000 men a year.
By reducing the number of male deaths to the same level as female deaths across five priority health issues, each year we could save the lives of:
- 1,500+ men who die by suicide
- 3,500+ men who die from cancers of the bowel, lung, mouth and skin
- 3,000+ men under 75 who die from heart disease and diabetes
- 1,500 + men who die from accidents and injuries
- 750+ men who die from alcohol-induced deaths
Achieving this ambitious goal would require sustained funding and action over an extended period of time. As a first step forward, AMHF has called for a modest investment of $100m over the next two years (2023-2025) to tackle some of the stark differences in health outcomes for men and boys in Australia.
Investing in men’s health
The $100m investment in men's health that AMHF has called for includes:
- $20m for national projects focused on male suicide prevention funded through the National Suicide Prevention Leadership fund.
- $20m to commission local projects working to prevent male suicide funded through Primary Health Networks.
- $15m for projects that focus on promoting preventive behaviours and increases in cancer screening among at-risk groups of men, alongside improvements in treatment and care for men at risk of dying from cancer, to be delivered at national and local levels.
- $15m for projects that focus on promoting preventive behaviours and increases in cardio metabolic risk factors among at-risk groups of men under 75.
- $15m to fund Population Health Grants for men and boys and facilitate the development of a National Men’s Health Advisory Council to guide how the Government delivers on the National Men’s Health Strategy.
- $5m to pilot projects that focus on preventing accidents and injuries among the most at-risk groups of men.
- $5m to pilot projects that work to reduce risky drinking among the most at-risk groups of men.
- $5m to fund the expansion of men’s health advocacy and men's health promotion work at Federal, State and Territory level.
AMHF's pre-budget submission to the Treasury was developed in consultation with its members.