AMA Vice President, Dr Steve Hambleton, today urged Australian men to be proactive about their health and seek advice and support from their family doctors to keep themselves in good shape for a longer life.
Dr Hambleton said that National Men's Health Week commencing tomorrow provides an opportunity to focus on changing the complacent 'he'll be right, mate' attitude of many Australian men.
Advertisement"Men often experience poorer health outcomes than women, and have a higher probability of dying at a younger age," Dr Hambleton said.
"A big factor in this is the 'don't fix it until it's broken' approach that many men have towards their bodies and health, which means they do not regularly seek health advice, and which puts them at greater risk of diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, at an early age.
"Being complacent and not seeking help from a family doctor will not make men's health problems go away.
"Doctors are a tremendous resource for men's health. They can provide the advice, support and referral options that men need to help them live longer, healthier lives.
"One of the best things that men can do for themselves and their loved ones is to visit their GP for a preventive health check-up, because prevention is better than cure.
"This is important for men of all ages, including teenagers, who are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviours and have a higher risk of sexually transmitted infections and substance abuse."
Dr Hambleton said that the National Men's Health Policy recently launched by the Federal Government to tackle the well-known reluctance of Australian men to visit their GP is a great initiative that needs to be taken further.
"The momentum to improve men's health outcomes needs to continue, especially for Indigenous men, whose health outcomes are the worst among all Australian population groups," Dr Hambleton said.
"Men in rural and remote areas are also at higher risk of premature death than men living in urban areas.
"More needs to be done to address the health needs of these high-risk groups."
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