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Men’s health policy ‘needed urgently’ – Australian news

Filed under: General — Julie @ 7:03 pm Wed 19th March 2008

Five Australian men commit suicide each day compared to just one woman, according to an academic who says the nation urgently needs a national men’s health policy.

Before the November election Health Minister Nicola Roxon announced a Labor government would develop a men’s health policy to complement the women’s policy created 20 years ago.

Professor John Macdonald from the Australasian Men’s Health Forum said it was vital men’s health was put on the national agenda.

“Five men a day kill themselves in our country, one woman,” he told reporters in Canberra.

“That’s atrocious – what’s the country doing with that now?”

Read full story

“If it were five whales a day … we’d be out there pushing them back into the sea,” he said.

“But five males a day, who knows? Who cares? There’s something strange happening.”

Prof Macdonald said the problems fathers face when they are separated from their children during family break-ups must also be addressed.


  1. Is there any more background on why the ratio of 5:1 exists?

    I mean is this figure directly related to fathers being seperated from their children? Or are there sub issues…like fathers in financial strife, unable to provide for themselves financially after seperation.

    Good point on the whales.

    We also see Parents (mainly women) often prosecuted for ‘failing to provide the necessities of life’ for their children.

    Do we see Politicians prosecuted for ‘failing to provide the necessities of life’ for men?

    So what is NZ actually doing to ensure the health and safety of seperated fathers?

    Comment by Morris Lindsay — Wed 19th March 2008 @ 8:03 pm

  2. Fully agreed. In a local hospital I see a department of Womens medicine. No Mens Medicine. I have difficulty finding a male GP. Women in NZ are prosecuted for child neglect and violence to their children. Most recent this week Taase Suaesi-Faamau jailed 3 years for assaulting her children (Violent Females Database)It does happen more than you think. When was the last time you remember a woman being killed in an industrial accident? Why do men die younger? All questions could do with answering.

    Comment by Alastair — Wed 19th March 2008 @ 9:30 pm

  3. Morris, the 5 men a day is not just about fathers during separation.

    We do have something happening under health for men in NZ and we have a National Prostate Cancer group that is part of a global movement.

    I don’t know what research is available on this for fathers.

    Comment by julie — Wed 19th March 2008 @ 9:33 pm

  4. I am waiting treatment for prostrate cancer at present. I saw the Oncologist at the end of January. I asked “When the treatment should start” He replied “If I had my Way, Tomorrow” In practice the nearest hospital with the gear (Palmerston North) had a 18 – 20 week waiting list just to start. They were going to send me to Melbourne. 2 weeks later (Mid February) I was phone and offered treatment in Waikato. – Still waiting. Present estimates Mid – Late April. Huh so much for urgency. Be fair though since the referal by my GP based solely on (Early December) Things moves fast to a biopsy immediately prior to Christmas. Late January there was an appointment with my Uroligist for the happy news, then the Oncologist less than a week later. I am getting B ….. frustrated with the delays. It’s the not knowing that upsets me most.

    Comment by Alastair — Wed 19th March 2008 @ 9:52 pm

  5. I have just (20/3/08) returned from Wanganui Hospital following another scan. It was a total repeat of an earlier scan. I discovered that the whole medical system does not communicate. In My case information required by Doctor A is not available to Doctor B, and possibly worst of all, information from my GP is not passed on to anybody. I perceive this as leading to inefficient use of human resource and expensive equipment time for duplication of effort. Worse sitll when final radiation therapy starts I have to travel around 350km to hospital for further scans. The taxpayer (aka the government) pay a traveling allowence and accodation. This issue is not only mens health. it is generic across the whole health spectrum.

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 20th March 2008 @ 10:15 am

  6. How to take charge of your health care.
    I have raised four children, all with major ongoing health issues.
    I realised that leaving it to my wife wasn’t working, and began taking time off work to attend EVERY medical appointment.
    I began to see evidence of this lack of co-ordination, and lack of follow through, so started a medical diary for each child.
    The doctor would mutter something to the mother, ignoring me, and I would interrupt, ask for it to be repeated, write it down, ask how to spell it, ask what action should be taken.
    Then at the next appointment, I would refer back to my notes, remind the doctor about what had happened at the last appointment, and generally expedite things.
    My youngest daughter, who had Cerebal Palsy, and a very high IQ, took over her notes, and made clear to the doctors what her expectations were.
    If you want to get good outcomes, take charge of your own treatment, and actively manage your medical treatment.

    Comment by John Brett — Sun 23rd March 2008 @ 5:06 pm

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