Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (33)

Emmet Stagg

Question:

147 Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Health and Children the steps that are being taken to address the serious problem of men's health identified in the recent report of the men's health forum in light of the finding that on average men die six years younger than women; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1912/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health and Children)

The health strategy, Quality and Fairness — A Health System for You, calls for the development of a policy for men's health and health promotion. The National Health Promotion Strategy 2000-2005 also identified the development of a national plan for men's health as an important initiative. In this regard, the health promotion unit of my Department has supported the appointment of a men's health research officer in the South Eastern Health Board. His remit is to research the role of gender and masculinity on men's concept of health, their knowledge, beliefs and attitudes to health and illness, health behaviours and risk behaviours and the barriers that men perceive in accessing the health services.

The health promotion unit have also commenced a consultation process with all relevant stakeholders, including the men's health forum, for the development of the men's health policy. The outcome of this consultation process and the findings of the research will inform the development of the policy.