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It is amazing what people will share with an anonymous ear and unknown voice on the phone. Working for a charity doing phone work to seek donations puts you in contact with hundreds of people every day. Whilst some resent the intrusion there are others that share their life, even intimacies, perhaps glad of the contact.

“Nah mate I would if I could but I need every cent meself. I’ve got prostate cancer”

“I am sorry that must be very hard”

“Not hard mate ha-ha if you get my drift, so my bloody wife left me. It’s just me now looking after meself”

“Sorry to hear that but they have medicines for that these days. Would that have helped?”

“Mate after twenty five years of marriage you’d think so but we couldn’t afford it. That’s for rich fellas that stuff. Anyway if she wasn’t going to hang in there who cares aye?”

“What about Medicare? Couldn’t you just claim it or a chunk of it?”

“Not a bloody cent mate. If it was a woman’s problem I bet you could but not for us blokes. And it’s buggers like that golfer you know the one, Woods, who said he was using it for fun when he probably didn’t need it, although he might have needed to with all those women eh?  Ha-ha”

Australia’s first male health policy was recently unveiled by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The National Male Health Policy will get almost seventeen million dollars to get projects addressing male health up and running. To put that into perspective the amount represents the equivalent or less than twice the annual income of the head of the Westpac bank in Australia, but that is another matter.

Mr Rudd, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, said it was time to bring a better focus onto problems facing men which had, for a long time, been buried.  

The article goes on to say, the money includes three million for the Australian Men's Sheds Association to create more meeting places for men. There is also nearly seven million dollars for the first Australian longitudinal study into the social, economic and behavioural problems affecting men's health. Another six million is earmarked for indigenous health promotion.

 They say men think with what is between their legs. Certainly much male activity is based around increasing the chances of getting a chance to use this “lower brain.” So if something does happen to how well this “brain” works it must have a strong effect on the said male.

There are one million people in Australia suffering from depression. One in six men will suffer from the condition during their adult lifetime. Amongst the reasons cited for the cause of depression are loss of self esteem, perceived change of status within the family, physical health problems and relationship problems. Tick all the boxes for men suffering from erectile dysfunction or “lower brain issues.” You would think to assist a man to overcome his problem would be money well spent.

The first major community research project undertaken to look at the incidence of erectile dysfunction took place in Massachusetts between 1987 and 1989. It found for all types of erectile dysfunction forty percent of forty year olds had problems, growing progressively to seventy percent for seventy year olds.

In the editorial of the Medical Journal of Australia in 1999 it claimed one million men suffered from erectile dysfunction in Australia. As a wide group, fifty two percent of all men aged between forty and seventy had issues. Sixty percent of sixty year olds suffered from the condition very much in line with the study from the USA.

The most common treatment medications for erectile dysfunction are Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. According to Pharmacy Direct in Australia the price per pill is roughly fifteen dollars, seventeen dollars and twelve dollars each respectively. It does depend a little on dosage and the volume purchased. Generics whilst available overseas, are not available in Australia. Generics lower the price substantially. The lower price means in Europe it is used to keep cut flowers fresher for longer. It helps prevent them wilting!

Why do Australian men have to pay the high price, not have access to generics and have no recognized financial acceptance of their problem? Probably because in part because of the number of men affected and the Woods phenomenon. Men not having a problem but saying they have in order to help with their performance or enable them to drink or drug but not droop. Yep, men lie. And who would fund this group of men?

For the average GP how do they tell if a patient is lying in order to obtain a prescription? Show them an erotic image and see if the man becomes aroused? Spare me those thoughts please!

Ironically cyproterone acetate, a drug used to treat men with a high sex drive is funded by Medicare. However this is currently being used in about eleven hundred patients across Australia and is often applied in cases of deviancy. It just seems odd to provide paid assistance for those being over sexed but not assist those with an inability to have sex.

It is funny how a phone call can lead you onto a particular path of study. The issue is enough to get depressed about and raise the ire, if nothing else, unless medicated. Some funding to assist those with erectile dysfunction would seem to be a sensible approach to mens’ health for sexual and mental health.  It is a shame those who don’t need it can ruin the case for those that do.

Published: May 22, 2010 5:33pm by shaun.

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