Letter to the Chief Medical Officer – Annual Report to focus on men’s health?

silhouettes-816486_1920The 2014 Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer focussed on women’s health.  The report, Health of the 51% Women was welcomed by the Men’s Health Forum as providing a gendered approach to health and a request by MHF for a report with a focus on the health of men. Unfortunately the CMO,  Professor Dame Sally Davies was unable to accede to  this request. Furthermore, there appears to be little likelihood of this happening in the next few years. With a report on the state of men’s health being declined, what chance a  policy? Where Australia, Ireland and Brazil have led the way with gendered policy on male health, the UK Government and the Department of Health continue to focus on single-silo health topics that where they touch on male health issues provide little in the way of guidance and support.

The dedicated policy on the health of boys and men that would act as a catalyst and driver of real public health action seems a long way off. We can also add that the current commissioning model of public health provides a poor platform for the delivery of men’s health work. How many Public Health departments employ a specialist in men’s health? How many health commissioners have received training or have an understanding of how to effectively work with men? The work of the Men’s Health Forum and the drive to policy needs to be supported. As a follow up to the MHF request for a report on men’s health a further request has been sent by representatives of organisations with an interest in men’s health urging the CMO to reconsider her decision. Mengage supports this request. You can read the full letter to the Chief Medical Officer here.