Page 3703 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 23 November 2022

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I will start by correcting some fundamental errors in the premise of Ms Castley’s motion. I am advised that the Australian Men’s Health Forum report states that only New South Wales and Western Australia actually have plans for men’s health; the Northern Territory, I understand, has a men’s health unit, and South Australia has an ambassador. Other jurisdictions do not, in fact, have a men’s health plan or strategy.

Indeed the ACT does not have a women’s health plan or strategy either, as Ms Castley claimed in the media in the lead-up to this motion. We have done an LGBTIQ+ scoping study to understand the gaps in access to health care for LGBTIQ+ people, because we know that there are some significant gaps and barriers to access that are not as well understood as they are for other parts of the population, including men. There is already considerable evidence around the way men do or do not access health care.

I move the following amendment that has been circulated in my name:

Omit all text after paragraph (2)(b), substitute:

“(c) the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that the ACT leads the nation for male life expectancy and ranks as one of the highest levels in the world;

(d) that over the past ten years male life expectancy in the ACT has increased by 1.7 years and is increasing more quickly than female life expectancy;

(e) it is important to develop gender sensitive strategies that promote equity and access across health and wellbeing services;

(f) equitable access to health care is a cornerstone of the Government’s Accessible, Accountable, Sustainable: A Framework for the ACT Public Health System 2020-2030, which recognises that generally Canberrans live in good health, but that some populations groups are at increased risk of poor health due to a range of socio-demographic factors and pre-existing conditions;

(g) recognising this, the ACT Government has a comprehensive set of evidence based strategies developed with expert advice, as well as community and stakeholder engagement to ensure that populations with the greatest health needs are the focus of strategies, plans and activities to deliver a patient-centred integrated health system; and

(h) the ACT Government currently works with a range of community organisations, including Menslink and Everyman to deliver specialised mental health and peer support services to men and boys in the ACT including counselling, advocacy, mentoring and education; and

(3) calls on the ACT Government to continue focusing on those most at risk of poor health and lifetime impacts of marginalisation by implementing the strategies, plans and activities developed with experts, stakeholders and the community to deliver the vision of Accessible, Accountable, Sustainable: A Framework for the ACT Public Health System 2020-2030, including (but not limited to):

(a) ACT Health Services Plan 2022-2030;

(b) ACT Health Quality Strategy 2018-2028;

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