Better outreach work and better protection online were two of the conclusions of the EMHF’s popular balloon debate earlier this month.
Building on its successful ‘court case’ in 2007, the EMHF was back at the European Health Forum at Gastein with another thought provoking workshop. This time, the event took the form of a balloon debate with three expert panellists called to defend the contribution of their field to improving men’s health if they were to remain onboard.
The picture above shows the chief interrogator - and balloon master - EMHF president Dr Ian Banks (in the the fetching green uniform) plus, seated, the panel: MEP John Bowis, Su Wang of the Royal Mail Group and Jim Thomson, Chair of the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines.
Over 80 people participated in the session including senior policy makers, representatives of the WHO and of national governments, NGO representatives, politicians and healthcare providers.
Unlike Dr Banks's balloon, the debate was not all hot air. ‘There is little doubt about the urgency of the issue,’ said EMHF Director Erick Savoye. ‘The debate pointed to the need for a radical change in the attitude of health professionals and health systems towards men’s obvious disregard of health issues. Low social status affects the health of men far more than women’s.’
The meeting agreed on the following three recommendations:
- The role of traditional primary care services must be complemented by outreach interventions following examples of good practice in the workplace and sports grounds.
- The regulator must step in to protect web users of health information, most of which are male, from the dangers of mis-information and counterfeit medicines.
- NGOs must increase their pressure on politicians and policy makers to promote equity in health policy.
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The EMHF wishes to thank its partners Bayer Schering, Clinical Solutions, Roche and the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines for their financial contribution to this meeting in the form of unrestricted educational grants.
Meeting the Commissioner
Elsewhere at Gastein, the EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou took time out of her busy agenda to meet with the EMHF and other NGOs...