The Commonwealth Department of Health has awarded $1m to the Australian Men’s Health Forum (AMHF) to help improve male health in Australia.
Around 500 people die from preventable causes every week in Australia and nearly two thirds of them are men. The funding will help AMHF identify what action is needed to tackle the social issues that lead to men dying prematurely and share their findings at a National Men’s Health summit to be held next year.
Julian Krieg, President of AMHF has welcomed the funding announcement. He said:
“This new cash injection is great news for men and boys’ health. Boys born in Australia can expect to die four years younger than girls on average. The funding will help us focus people’s minds on closing this gender health gap by addressing the social issues that shape men’s health and wellbeing.”
Over the next three years AMHF will research and publish a series of papers on key men’s health issues; establish a number of special interest groups focused on tackling these issues and provide scholarships to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s health workers.
Some of the social issues AMHF will focus on include education, employment, housing, poverty, family, social connections and access to male-friendly support services.
AMHF’s work will also examine the health inequities experienced by groups of men who are at higher risk of dying prematurely including Indigenous men; men from rural and remote areas; those with blue collar backgrounds; men with mental health issues; war veterans; men with disabilities; socially isolated men; culturally and linguistically diverse men and males who identify as gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex.
The funding, which runs until 2020, will help AMHF to work closely with other organisations funded by the Department of Health such as Andrology Australia; Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre at the Western Sydney University; the longitudinal study of Men’s Health (Ten to Men) and the Australian Men’s Shed Association.
It is expected that the Department of Health will promote further collaboration by reviewing and updating the 2010 National Male Health Policy.
To help deliver this project, AMHF has appointed its first full time employee, Glen Poole, who joined the organisation this month. Glen previously worked in the UK on various men’s projects before relocating to Australia in 2015 and founding the Stop Male Suicide project. He will work alongside Gary Bryant, AMHF’s part-time Executive Officer.
TEN KILLER FACTS ABOUT MEN’S HEALTH IN AUSTRALIA
- Boys born in Australia can expect to die four years younger than girls on average
- 500 people a week die from potentially avoidable causes, nearly two thirds of them are men
- Seven out of 10 young people aged 15-24 who die each year are male
- 96% of people who die at work are men
- Eight people a day die by suicide, six of them are male
- Men and boys account for 73% of road traffic accidents
- Men under 65 are four times more likely to die from heart disease than women
- Cancer kills 100 more men than women a week
- Indigenous men and boys die 10 years younger than Non-Indigenous males on average
- Women’s health receives four times more research funding than men’s health
(1) The Commonwealth Department of Health has provided the Australian Men’s Health Forum (AMHF) with $970,000 over the next three years (2017-2020).
(2) The Australian Men’s Health Forum is the peak body for male health in Australia focusing on the social issues that shape men and boys’ health and wellbeing.
(3) Premature Death: according to the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS), there were 26,283 potentially avoidable deaths in 2014, an average of 505 potentially avoidable deaths per week. Of the 26,283 people who died from potentially avoidable causes, 16,668 (63.4% or nearly two thirds) were male and 9,615 (36.6%) were female.
(4) Life expectancy: according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a boy born in Australia in 2013–2015 can expect to live to the age of 80.4 years and a girl would be expected to live to 84.5 years, a difference of 4.1 years.
(5) Young People: according to the ABS, 1,086 young people aged from 15-24 died from various causes in 2014, of these 754 (69.4%) were male and 332 (30.6%) were female.
(6) Workplace Deaths: According to Safe Work Australia, in 2015 there were 195 people died in the workplace, 187 (95.9%) were male and 8 (4.1%) were female.
(7) Suicide: according to the ABS, 2,864 deaths by suicide in 2014, of these 2,160 (75.4%) were male and 704 (24.6%) were female. On a daily basis, there are an average of eight suicides a day, six of them men and boys and two of them women and girls.
(8) Road deaths: according to the ABS, 1,380 people died in land transport accidents in 2014, of these 1,007 (73%) were male and 373 (37%) were female.
(9) Heart disease: according to the ABS, 2,536 people aged from 25-64 died from Ischaemic Heart Disease in 2014, of these 2,049 (80.8%) were male and 487 (19.2%) were female.
(10) Cancer: according to the ABS, 43,549 deaths from cancer in 2014, of these 24,356 were male and 19,193 were female. On weekly basis, there were an average of 837 cancer deaths, of these 468 were male and 369 were male (a difference of 99 more male deaths than female deaths per week).
(11) Indigenous health: according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population born in 2010–2012, life expectancy was estimated to be 10.6 years lower than that of the non-Indigenous population for males (69.1 years compared with 79.7) and 9.5 years for females (73.7 compared with 83.1).
(12) Health research: Between 2003 and 2013, the Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council awarded $833 million in funding to women's health research compared to less than $200 million for men.