Men who are reluctant to see their doctor and men in remote areas will have access to a new mobile health program under a Shorten Labor Government.
Shadow Assistant Health Minister, Stephen Jones, said Labor would provide $1 million for the expansion of a mobile men’s health screening and outreach program.
The funds, announced as part of Men’s Health Week, will help expand the “Spanner in the Works” program, run by the Australian Men’s Shed Association.
The service will be staffed by one GP and three nurses and will visit large scale events where there are typically a large number of men in attendance.
Through the purchase of two large vehicles and one additional 4WD for remote access, the service will also make sure that men living in isolated areas get the care and support they need.
Mr Jones said that the Men’s Shed Association was a powerful tool in improving the health and wellbeing of men.
“Men are often more reluctant to go to their GP, and more likely to suffer from chronic disease and social isolation,” he said.
“Men are more likely to use alcohol, tobacco and drugs, face more occupational exposures and hazards, and be impacted by physical inactivity and poor diet.
“The Men’s Shed Association can be a powerful force in breaking down barriers and raising awareness.”
Mr. Jones said that the problems were particularly acute amongst disadvantaged men.
“An analysis of deaths found that men aged 25-64 years in the most socio-economically disadvantaged group had a mortality rate almost double that of their female counterparts.
“We need to do more to enhance men’s health in Australia. Key to that is improving access to health care.
“That’s why Labor is determined to help the Men’s Shed Association in their outreach efforts.
“This initiative will make a real difference and we are proud to play a part in making it happen.”