Indigenous Health Report Card released at Ochre Day
The Australian Men’s Health Forum today published a report reviewing the current state of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Health.
As part of a series examining men’s health in Australia using most current data across a range of issues, the Indigenous Health Report Card underlines the Federal Government’s Men’s Health Strategy (2020-2030), which states that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males have the worst health outcomes of any group in Australia.
Tabled during the Naccho Australia Ochre Day men’s health conference in Melbourne, the report card says the barriers to improving men’s health is that there is very little research highlighting the gender inequality issues that men and boys face.
The 2019 Men’s Health Report Card series is a first attempt to bring some of these issues together and highlight some of the gender gaps between different populations of men and women.
“The facts are compelling. Our sons are less educated than our daughters. Our brothers die younger than our sisters. Our fathers are more likely to die by suicide than our mothers. Our male friends are more likely to be imprisoned than our female friends,” said Australian Men’s Health Forum CEO, Glen Poole.
This report focuses on average statistics for males and females in Australia by Indigenous status. In most cases, it doesn’t measure the inequalities that may exist between different groups of Indigenous men and boys.
“The Australian Men’s Health Forum would welcome more investment into men’s health research to ensure that data is made available on Indigenous males who belong to all the priority groups identified in the National Men’s Health Strategy, such as those who have a disability or identify as gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex,” said Poole.
The report found that:
Indigenous men die 23 years younger than non-Indigenous Australians on average
7 in 10 Indigenous people who die from heart disease before 65 are men
Lung cancer kills two Indigenous men every week, twice the rate of non-Indigenous males
Indigenous men aged 25-35 are 3.4 times more likely to suicide than non-Indigenous males
Indigenous men account for more than 27% of the male prisoner population
1 in 2 Indigenous children live in lone-parent families and are developmentally vulnerable
1 in 4 Indigenous people (23%) are unemployed, four times the rate of the non-Indigenous population
1 in 4 Indigenous households say they ran out of food in the previous 12 months and could not afford to buy more.
The report says lack of strategic focus on the gender issues faced by men and boys contributes to the double disadvantage experienced by Indigenous males.
“While there are a range of government initiatives focused on closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, there is little focus on closing the gender gaps that men and boys face,” the report says.
For example, “if we want to reduce rates of imprisonment among Indigenous males, we need to consider how gender and Indigenous status interact to make Indigenous men 150 times more likely to be in prison than non-Indigenous women.”
The intention of the report card is to inspire key stakeholders across Australia to take collective action to tackle the gender issues that impact Indigenous men and boys, in alignment with the National Men’s Health Strategy (2020-2030).
The Indigenous Men’s Health Report Card 2019 is part of a series released this year by AMHF state-by-state/territory and nationally.
TAKE ACTION FOR MEN’S HEALTH
View/download all 2019 State/Territory and National Health Report Cards
Find out more about Ochre Day (https://www.naccho.org.au/programmes/aboriginal-mens-health/2019-ochre-day-conference/)
Read: Federal Government to fund Indigenous campside health initiative (https://www.amhf.org.au/federal_government_to_fund_indigenous_campside_health_initiative)