Australia’s men are a diverse population, with many differing health behaviours, conditions and health service use. However, men see a general practitioner (GP) less frequently than women.
My Health Record is forming the cornerstone of a safe, secure and better health system for all Australians. By using My Health Record men can take greater control of their own health management – and they need to.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, The health of Australia’s males, released in October 2017, makes for sober reading and shows why every Australian male should have his own My Health Record.
In 2016, there were 12 million men in Australia – approximately 49.7% of the population. Of these, 68% were younger than 50 and 14% were 65 or over. Their median age was 36.5 years.
While three in five Australian males report their health as excellent or very good, one in two have a chronic disease.1
In 2014–15, 48% of males reported having one or more of eight chronic diseases (arthritis, asthma, back problems, cancer, cardiovascular disease, COPD, diabetes and mental and behavioural problems). Of these, 27% had one, 13% had two, and 8.5% had three or more.
In 2017, it is estimated males will account for 54% of all new cancer cases. The risk for Australian males being diagnosed with cancer before their 85th birthday is one in two.1
Mental health issues also feature in men’s health. In 2007, 48% of males aged 16–85 had experienced a mental health disorder in their lifetime.
Having a My Health Record provides many benefits:
- Important healthcare information is available in one place online and easily accessible by authorised doctors, specialists or hospitals.
- When moving interstate or travelling, the information can be viewed securely online
- In emergency situations, treating doctors can view current medications to provide the appropriate treatment quickly.
- Better patient and provider communication – particularly if you have a communication impairment or language barrier.
- It reduces the need to remember medicine names or dosages, or have to repeat your ‘health story’ when seeing a new healthcare provider or clinician.
- Because healthcare providers have access to clinical information prepared and shared by other health professionals, they will have a more detailed picture with which to make clinical decisions, diagnose and provide treatment.
- Your important health information like allergies, medical conditions, treatments and pathology or diagnostic imaging reports can be accessed through one system.
- The health of Australia’s males. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 4 October 2017. Web report at: www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/male-health/contents/who-are
- NQPHN Newsletter #53