Gay men’s health has been prioritised under the Rudd Government’s first national male health policy.

Based on input from thousands of men and health professionals who took part in public forums across the country, the National Men’s Health Policy has developed a six-point strategy for improving the wellbeing of men from all backgrounds. Gay and bisexual men were specifically recognised under the strategy as a priority group to be addressed.

National LGBT Health Alliance chair Paul Martin said it was pleasing to see the community’s needs “recognised so clearly”.

“The evidence is clear that GBT men and those from intersex groups have higher health risk factors.

“The policy recognises the needs of different population groups of males, including gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex groups, and outlines actions to promote health equity and reduce preventable health differences between populations of Australian males.”

The strategy promotes the development of specific policies on men’s health, focuses on preventative health measures and encourages men to access health care more regularly.

The strategy further recognised the need to address the different health needs of men at different points in their lives and the need to encourage more research into men’s health.

A total of $7.3 million is to be invested over the next four years, to build up this research.

Of that, $6.9 million will be spent on developing a national longitudinal study on male health. A further $400,000 will go towards commissioning regular statistical updates.

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