The Forum's research shows that men's poor use of services leads to higher rates of hospitalisation and premature death. This is bad news for men themselves, their families, their employers and also the NHS which has to bear the costs.
'Challenges & Choices Improving health services to save men's lives' is the policy briefing around these issues and sets out the challenges to the NHS and government.
Dr Ian Banks, president of Men's Health Forum, said, "One of the biggest risks to men's health is their reluctance to seek help from services or to take part in health improvement programmes. This is often because services and programmes are not delivered in ways that take account of men's particular needs."
'Challenges & Choices' calls on Government to ensure that all policy takes proper account of men's health and gender inequalities; to establish a national Tackling Gender Inequalities Programme to support, evaluate and disseminate local initiatives to improve men's health; to ensure the Review of Health Inequalities Post 2010 in England (The Marmot Review) includes the issue of men's access to health services; and to commission more research into men's use of health services and how it can be improved.
- Men's health is much worse than it need be - too many men are still dying young. 40% of men die before the age of 75.
- Men's poor use of primary care and health improvement services has not been systematically addressed even though it contributes to higher rates of hospitalisation and death.
- There are some encouraging examples of national, regional and local initiatives that are improving service delivery to men and which provide an evidence base for further activity.
- Government, the NHS and other providers must now rise to the challenge of developing services that more men will use.
- With the recession increasingly impacting on men's health, choosing to do nothing is no longer an option.
Our latest policy statement is the Men's Health Manifesto published in 2014.