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Men’s Health Policy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 2 November 2011

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Ceisteanna (522)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

533 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health if he will outline the implementation status of each recommendation in the National Men’s Health Policy 2008-2013; the steps being taken to fully implement each outstanding recommendation; the timetable involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32276/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health)

The National Men's Health Policy was launched in 2008. It made 40 recommendations within the themes specified as follows. Significant progress has been made in the case of 19 of the recommendations, partial implementation has occurred on 15, while no progress has been reported on 6. Many of the recommendations are relevant to the whole population and therefore a population-based approach is being taken with regard to their implementation.

Structures: This theme envisaged the development of structures for men's health — nationally and locally — to support and monitor implementation of policy; and in this regard the 2 recommendations under this theme have been largely implemented.

Research: The 2 recommendations here sought to promote an increased focus on men's health research in Ireland. The first recommendation on the establishment of a centre for research and development in men's health has been implemented and the implementation of the second recommendation on promoting research in the area is ongoing.

Health Promotion: In line with the 4 recommendations under this theme, the following programmes have taken place: A men's health information booklet was produced and a designated web-site developed. Working in partnership with An Post, a men's health booklet "Male Minder" was produced. Similar initiatives are underway with other employers. New drink-driving limits were recently introduced and my Department is finalising a National Substance Misuse Strategy, which will include measures on alcohol, all of which will deter risk-taking behaviour among men and indeed the general population.

Health and Social Services — including preventative health: Measures to implement the recommendations under this theme include the development of specialised academic programmes on men's health, the development of a 2-day men's health train the trainers course and measures undertaken aimed at increasing men's participation in the education profession. The National Office for Suicide Prevention is working with other organisations with a view to increasing awareness of mental health. Preparations are continuing for the introduction of a national colorectal cancer screening programme in 2012, and services are being improved for those with prostate cancer with Rapid Access Prostate Cancer Diagnostic Clinics now operational in 6 of the 8 designated cancer centres.

Initiatives in the Home, in Schools and Colleges and in the Workplace: A wide range of initiatives have been developed to implement the recommendations in these areas including programmes that encourage the development of healthy and positive life behaviours through SPHE, the establishment of links between the home and school through the School Community Liaison Service, the back-to-education programme. A more population-based approach has been taken to the workplace recommendations, with measures taken to make the workplace safer and more family-friendly.

Initiatives Sport and Recreation: Investment has enabled the increased use of community based resources. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs have an inclusive policy which aims to ensure that the voice of seldom heard young people is included both locally and nationally.

Community: Under this theme measures have been introduced to support men affected by long-term unemployment. A gender main-streaming group was established and men are represented.

I would like to inform the Deputy that the Implementation Planning Group, comprising representatives from the Department, the Health Service Executive and relevant stakeholder organisations, continues to meet at regular intervals to decide on priorities, to set areas of co-operation between stake-holders and to advise on the implementation of the recommendations.

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