The state of men’s health in SA is lagging behind women’s health, according to a new report published today during Men’s Health Week.
The SA Men’s Health Report Card 2019 released by the Australian Men’s Health Forum (AMHF) highlights a number of areas of concern including the fact that men in SA are dying 6.1 years younger than women on average.
AMHF, the national peak body for men’s health, is calling on the SA Government to invest more time, money and resources into improving the lives and health of men and boys. Jonathan Bedloe, President of AMHF said:
“This report card on the state of men and boys’ health in South 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:
- men in SA die 6.1 years younger (the average age of death in 2017 being 79.7 years for males and 85.8 years for females)
- 4 times more SA men aged 35-44 die from more heart disease than women the same age
- 1 in 3 SA men (30.4%) die of cancer compared with 1 in 4 women (25%)
- 3 in 4 SA suicides are men (164 of the 224 suicides in 2017)
- 100% of workplace fatalities in SA men (14 out of 14 deaths in 2017)
- 3 in 4 road fatalities are male, with 2 men and boys a week 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 in SA are 3x more likely than girls to drop out of school before the end of Year 12
- 1 in 3 new fathers in SA (36.2%) are not married
- 1 in 5 SA children (20.3%) live in lone parent families
- The number of men not in the labour force has risen by around 130% since 1978, more than 10 times the rate at which the number of women not in the labour force has risen.
When compared with other states and territories, South Australia was ranked in 4th place for men’s health behind the ACT (1st ), Victoria (2nd ) and New South Wales (3rd ) and ahead of Western Australia (5th ), Queensland (6th ), Tasmania (7th ) and the Northern Territory (8th ).
Glen Poole, CEO of AMHF 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. 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 South Australia demonstrate that there is much work still to do. It’s time for the SA Government to take better care of men and boys’ health by developing a statewide men’s health policy.
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