The Men's Health Forum (England and Wales) has launched a campaign to ensure that National Health Service and other public bodies in the UK take gender fully into account when planning and delivering services.
The Forum wants to ensure that public bodies comply with the UK's new Equality Act that comes into force next April. Under the Act, primary care trusts and other NHS and public bodies will be required to tackle gender inequalities in health directly. Because men’s health is so poor in many areas, this means that specific measures will now have to be taken to improve it.
Dr Ian Banks, who is president of the Men’s Health Forum as well as of the EMHF, said: ‘It marks the beginning of what the Forum believes is the most significant opportunity since the formation of the NHS in 1948 to improve men’s health. The Government needs to do much more to improve the NHS’s readiness to implement and encourage compliance, through training and information.’
Among other EU members, Norway already has a similar gender duty. The EMHF will be meeting the MHF shortly to discuss the UK's new gender duty and its implications for Europe.