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Improving healthcare services for men

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 03 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2129
  1. Ian Banks, president, Men’s Health Forum
  1. ian{at}

    As a GP, journalist, spokesman for the British Medical Association, and, most significantly, president of the Men’s Health Forum (, an independent body working on issues relating to the health of men and boys in England and Wales, I have for many years been campaigning for greater recognition of the specific health issues of men and the need to develop sex sensitive health services. Until recently there has been too little interest, knowledge, or understanding of the term “men’s health.”

    Well into the early 2000s policy makers continued to overlook the need to develop an inclusive approach to men’s health. And although appreciation of sex sensitive approaches to healthcare provision has now grown, men’s health in the United Kingdom remains astonishingly poor. But I’m hopeful that recent developments will bring positive change—namely, the government’s gender equality duty, introduced in April 2007, which applies to all public bodies. However, closing the gender gap can be achieved only if policy and advice on best practice can be successfully implemented at a local level. …

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