To mark International Men’s Health Week, Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, today announced new funding for men’s health initiatives, awareness and medical research.
Victorian men enjoy a good level of health by international and national standards, however, compared to their female counterparts, have a lower life expectancy, higher rates of avoidable and premature death, and are at greater risk of dying from common conditions including heart disease, injuries and cancer.
Men continue to be less likely to access health care, and often wait until it’s too late before seeing a doctor. In particular, men living in Melbourne’s west experience poor health.
The Andrews Labor Government will provide $200,000 in 2015-16 to support Sons of the West, a 15-week community program which encourages men in Melbourne’s west to lead healthier lives.
The program is run by the Western Bulldogs Football Club in partnership with a range of sponsors, and encourages participants to increase physical activity, eat healthily, reduce smoking and alcohol consumption, and improve their overall wellbeing and mental health through greater social connection.
The Andrews Labor Government is also investing in cutting-edge medical research which has the potential to deliver better outcomes for patients.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among Victorian men. In 2013, there were 4,257 new cases of prostate cancer in Victoria, making up 27 per cent of all new male cancers diagnosed, and 729 men died from the disease.
The Government today announced that more than 40 per cent of the funding provided in the latest round of the Victorian Cancer Agency Grants program will go towards prostate cancer research.
This funding – $1.6 million – will support five new research projects on prostate cancer, investigating ways to better diagnose and improve treatment for patients. Grants will also go towards projects investigating other cancers common among males including bowel cancer, mesothelioma, and brain cancer.
The Government has also launched a new information guide to help health services and the community better understand and respond to men’s health issues.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy
“Men’s Health Week is a chance to reflect on the health issues and challenges that men face, and to look at what we can do to improve men’s health and wellbeing.”
“As a community, we need to encourage men to live healthier lives, and Sons of the West is a fantastic program which is delivering real results for men and families in the west.”
“Victoria is home to some of the world’s leading cancer experts who are working tirelessly on new ways to prevent cancer and improve patient care and survival. This funding for prostate cancer research is a massive investment in men’s health.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020