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Men Take Control of Their Health with My Health Record

Australian men need to take greater control of their health, announced the Australian Men’s Shed Association who is encouraging men to register for a My Health Record during Movember.

Gary Green, Community Engagement Manager at the Australian Men’s Shed Association, said they are partnering with the Australian Digital Health Agency to distribute My Health Record toolkits to members around Australia.

“This is an important step and opportunity for men to take more control over their health. The Men’s Shed movement aims to advance the wellbeing of Australian men and My Health Record is another step towards achieving this goal,” Mr Green said.

“We are pleased to be able to collaborate with the Agency to support the distribution of My Health Record to around 1000 Men’s Sheds and their members across Australia.”

Agency CEO Tim Kelsey believes that My Health Record provides many valuable benefits for men.

“Encouraging men to discuss their healthcare concerns with their doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare specialist can be difficult,” said Mr Kelsey.

“My Health Record supports and assists men to have these conversations; enabling better connected care and, ultimately, better health outcomes.”

My Health Record gives men (and the broader community) the capacity to upload important health information including allergies and current medications; and they don’t need to remember the dates of tests, medicine names or dosages.

It also helps men to tell their ‘health story’ when visiting a new healthcare provider or clinician, and control the sharing of important information between these parties.

In general, men see general practictioners less frequently than women.1

Younger men (aged under 40 years) are less likely than women to visit a GP, and when they do attend, they tend to have acute illnesses, injuries and psychological problems managed.

In middle age (40-60 years), chronic conditions begin to emerge, particularly musculoskeletal morbidities.

For older men (over 65), chronic conditions are predominant.2

To date, over 6,200 GP practices and 785 public hospitals, along with over 1,400 community pharmacies, have registered as providers with the My Health Record program.

In support of Movember, two Australian men shared how My Health Record is making a difference in their lives.

Tiger Corrigan is 72 years-old, suffers from multiple chronic conditions and lives in a remote area.

“I’ve been a plant operator and miner all my life,” said Mr Corrigan.

“Consequently, I suffer all the problems of a plant operator and miner. I’ve had a triple bypass, got six stents, am a sugar diabetic type 2, my kidneys are on fail point, got arthritis pretty bad, some of my bones are now bone-on-bone, and have gout, reflux, and emphysema. Having a My Health Record is the only way to keep track of everything.”

Nick Morten is 31 years-old, had a heart attack in September 2016 and recently moved interstate.

“It was a big wake-up call going into cardiac rehab where I was the youngest by 20 years. After my heart attack, I moved to Melbourne from Mackay. I referred to My Health Record when consulting with my GP, new cardiologist, and even my psychologist,” said Mr Morten.

1. Harrison C, Britt H. General practice – Workforce gaps now and in 2020. Aust Fam Physician 2011;40(1–2):12–15. Search PubMed
2. Bayram C, Britt H, Kelly Z, Valenti L. Male consultations in general practice in Australia 1999–00. General practice series No. 11. AIHW Cat. no. GEP 11. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2003.

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