AN ONLINE doctor service is urging Devon people to give a free Father’s Day gift which could save the recipients life – by encouraging them to get a health ‘Man O T’.
UK-wide service Vala Health says its own statistics, reflect the national picture which is true in Devon and show people who identify as men are far less likely to make a health appointment than those who identify as women – and there is an urgent need for people to encourage the men in their lives to pay more attention to their health.
Studies have shown one in three men, take an ostrich like approach and bury their heads in the sand and ignore both physical and mental health. This means not only to they fail to check themselves for things such as testicular cancer, but they do not go to the doctor even when they develop a range of symptoms which could be indicative of serious conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
A breakdown of Vala patients show that 70 per cent of appointments are women booking an appointment for themselves or a member of the family, 20 per cent of appointments are men making an appointment for a member of the family and only 10 per cent of the slots are men making a health appointment for themselves.
And whilst everyone can benefit from a check-up in the form of a health MOT Vala believes Father’s Day, which falls just after Men’s Health Week, is a good opportunity to highlight the fact the majority of men are not doing enough to prioritise their health and put the ‘man’ in health MOT.
Pete Trainor, Vala Health CEO explains: “The Government message during lockdown about the need to protect the NHS was so strong many people wrongly felt they could not contact a doctor and were keeping their health complaints stored up for when the NHS would be less busy.
“But they were not just ignoring minor issues, they were also ignoring potentially serious symptoms, something which we know men tend to do regardless of covid. This can lead to a wide range of issues being missed or diagnosed late, putting the person at greater risk and potentially damaging their life expectancy.
Now in a bid to encourage more men to get health checks – Vala is urging people to write a message in their Father’s Day card – asking their loved one not to neglect their health and to pledge time to get a health Man O T. And to make it easier the online platform is offering free appointments.
Pete said: “A lot of guys we speak to about mental health and primary care in general don’t feel clinicians speak their language or empathise. Our founder is a doctor who worked for most of his career in the army, so he shaped a lot of what makes Vala effective for men and a key part is being online and good availability negates the argument they are too busy to go and physically see a doctor.”
So rather than a pair of sock or a tie they probably won’t wear the company is asking people to give the gift of encouragement and get their dad to get a health Man O T.
Pete added: “Vala is passionate about men’s health so we are making free appointments for anyone who registers with us on Father’s Day or the day after – and we don’t care if men come to us, their own GP or another service – just as long as men don’t ignore their health issues.”
To register for a free health Man O T please www.valahealth.com