A NEW research study into male health shows the mortality rate of Australian men is 23,000 deaths per year higher than the female rate.
The study, released as part of National Men’s Health Week, shows that men suffer 93% of work-related deaths, 70% of work-related injuries, three-quarters of completed suicides nationally and on average die six years younger than women.
And despite men still providing the backbone of 90% of the country’s high-risk and dangerous industries, funding for men’s health research remains at only 25% of that spent nationally on women’s health research.
The announcement last week that Andrology Australia, the key organisation providing research and services for male reproductive health, will have its funding cut from July 1, will drastically cut even further the research commitment to men’s health and wellbeing.
Since the release of the National Male Health Policy (1) by the Labor Federal Government in 2010, little has been done to implement or fund the recommendations contained in that policy, in collaboration with the various State Governments.
While millions were spent in extensive consultation processes and meetings around the country to gain public input into formulating the national policy, it has remained almost dormant since it was released six years ago.
The Australian Men’s Health Forum, the peak body advocating for the health of men and boys in Australia, has produced the position paper: Male Health In Australia: A call for action…(2) to highlight the vast gender inequities that are contributing to the overall poor health outcomes and mortality rates of the male population in all of the country’s States.
AMHF National President, Julian Krieg, said the revealing paper, prepared by Associate Professor Gary Misan of the University of Adelaide, highlights the need for all political parties to re-affirm the National Male Health Policy as a matter of urgency and allocate specific funds to it.
“Another important step would be to nominate a Minister to be responsible for Men’s Health,” Mr Krieg said.
“While there are Ministers for women’s interests in every state and federally, apart from the Northern Territory there are no ministers or departments responsible for men’s health outcomes or issues.”
In the lead-up to the July 2 Federal Election, the AMHF has approached all of the major political parties requesting they state their policies and stance on men’s health.
Mr Krieg, said: “In order to address the ‘socio-economic determinants’ most responsible for poor male health, a wider and more strategic commitment from departments other than health is required.
“Health and research resources corresponding to the demonstrable needs associated with poor male health need to be made available.
“The development of male-specific prevention strategies are required that take into account men’s differential vulnerabilities, including for sub-groups of males at special risk similar to those that currently exist for women,” Mr Krieg said.
“It is also important that research regarding the factors that act as obstacles to male health-seeking and health service utilisation needs to be undertaken.”
The AMHF has also launched a crowd-funding project on pozible.com to finance a practical public resource for suicide awareness and prevention (3).
The Australian Men’s Health Forum is the peak national forum promoting the inclusion of “socio-economic determinants” as a key factor impacting male health and wellbeing (4). These strategies are discussed in more detail on Page 6 of the Position Paper. Live links to the research are included below.
(1) National Male Health Policy, live link:
(2) AMHF Position Paper live link:
(3) Crowd Funding Project For Suicide Awareness and Prevention
(4) The Australian Men’s Health Forum
(5) National Men’s Health Week, June 13 – 20: