Focusing on men's health: it's time for a national strategy
It is surely time for a men's health strategy in the UK. Or, rather, a strategy for each of the UK's nations. Seven other countries—including our nearest neighbour, Ireland—already have men's health strategies or policies. The UK Government has also signed up to World Health Organization (WHO) Europe's regional men's health strategy (WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2018). A Women's Health Plan for Scotland was published in August (Scottish Government, 2021) and a women's health strategy for England is being developed (Department of Health and Social Care, 2021). A complementary approach is now required for men.
The case for action is clear. Around one man in five still dies before the ‘traditional’ retirement age of 65, with cancer, suicide and cardiovascular disease being the biggest killers of working-age men in the UK (Men's Health Forum, 2021). Men make up 70% of patients in critical care with COVID-19 and account for 57% of all deaths (Public Health England (PHE), 2020). The pandemic has actually reduced male life expectancy, by 1.3 years in England (PHE, 2021).
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