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Maori Men’s Health: The Bigger Picture

Maori Men’s Health: The Bigger Picture

Mana Tāne Ora o Aotearoa, the National Māori Men’s Health Coalition, says while they encourage Māori men to take steps to improve their own health, there is a need to address broader social factors and to ensure health care services deliver effectively to Maori men.

Dr Rhys Jones, Senior Lecturer, Te Kupenga Hauora Māori at the University of Auckland and Mana Tāne Ora o Aotearoa board member, says while Men’s Health Week is about raising awareness about men’s health issues and prompting action to address those issues, it’s necessary to understand and address the root causes of these inequalities in order to improve Māori men’s health.

“Māori men have poorer access to the social determinants of health (such as education, employment and income) than non-Māori men, and are less well served by the New Zealand health care system in terms of access and quality of care provided,” he says. “This plays out when we look at recent health statistics: The most recent data shows that Māori male life expectancy is 72.8 years and non-Māori male life expectancy is 80.2 years.”

The factors that cause poor health among men (including Māori men) are extremely complex. It’s not just about getting men to look after their own health or to go to the doctor, but about putting policies, systems and services in place to reduce barriers and provide increased access to healthcare services,” he says.

Dr Jones says there is a lot of passion and energy in Māori communities around advancing Māori men’s health and this needs to be supported at all levels of society so that the full potential of Māori males can be realised.

Men’s Health Week ends on Sunday 15 June, however Life, Unichem and Amcal pharmacies throughout New Zealand are offering free Men’s Health Pit Stop Checks until the end of them month.

ENDS

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