Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (617)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin


732 Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children if he has received the report of the Men's Health Forum in Ireland; if he will act upon its recommendations for the establishment of an advisory group for men's health for all Ireland, research and data collection, policy development and increased training, awareness and resources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1706/04]

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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, to research the role of gender and masculinity on Irish men's concept of health, their knowledge, beliefs and attitudes to health and illness, health behaviours and risk behaviours, and the barriers that Irish men perceive in accessing the health services.

The health promotion unit has 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.