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Symposium on men, women and access

The Forum is to hold a high-powered symposium at the King's Fund next month as part of its research into why men and women access health services in such different ways.

David WilkinsThe symposium forms a key part of the research study being undertaken by the MHF in partnership with the University of Bristol into the important relationship between gender and use of health services - in particular primary care services. It will give some 50 senior managers, academics and voluntary sector representatives the opportunity to share their knowledge, observations and experience.


'It has always been fundamental to the MHF's position to point out that men and women use health services differently and that that has an impact on health outcomes,' said David Wilkins, above, the MHF's Policy Officer who is leading the study. 'This differential service use is a important part of the explanation for men's poorer health. We have been trying to get health planners to recognise and address these differences for a long time. The symposium will ensure that the final research report both reflects a wide range of informed opinion and produces practical and workable recommendations. '


The study will report later this year bringing much of the data together in a single publication for the first time. The report - to be published by the Department of Health who commissioned the work - will have individual chapters on the gender issues associated with cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental health, sexual health, alcohol misuse, obesity. There will be a specific chapter  on the discussion that takes place at the symposium.


'We hope that this symposium and report will place gender differences in service use and health outcome squarely on the "inequalities agenda",' said David Wilkins.  'Only when politicians and planners begin to recognise that gender belongs with race, disability and economic status and as a primary determinant of health status will we see the changes necessary to improve the health of both men and women.'

Page created on April 25th, 2008

Page updated on December 1st, 2009