June 09, 2015
Men’s health a risky business
It’s Men’s Health Week, and that means it’s time for tane Maori to give a little time to themselves – get a check up, consider changes to diet or lifestyle.
But that may not be enough, with a leading Maori doctor saying systemic change is needed if Maori men aren’t to remain in the deficit column of health statistics.
Dr Rhys Jones says the reason Maori men’s health is statistically worse than other men is health is determined by the opportunities they have in their lives to be healthy and the higher risks they face.
"A lot of the health outcomes are really due to issues around poverty, education, employment all that sort of thing. Some of the industries that Maori men tend to work in tend to be those that are more unsafe, more involved in environments that encourage unhealthy behaviours and I think we need to address some of those things as well," he says.
Dr Jones says while Maori men may show up later to the doctor, there is also evidence they are not treated as well as others once they are in the health system.
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