ROTARY NSW is out to convince men in rural areas that it’s okay to check up on their health, and the old “she’ll be right” and “have a spoon full of cement and harden up” attitude can be harmful.
They are running an operation called MHERV (Men’s Health Education Rural Van), that is travelling to communities around the state and providing free standard checks to men that are often too proud to visit a hospital.
Singleton Rotary Club member Ross Thompson said many people in smaller towns or on farms can feel as if they’ve always got more urgent matters to attend to.
“Often in rural areas they’re more interested about their cows and their sheep and so on, but they’re not so interested in themselves,” he said.
“And, I think that’s a natural problem that men can be more concerned about their family’s health, but we find that because this is a non-intrusive activity that they’re more inclined to be involved.”
The van provided more than 2000 checks last year, and sent 69 people straight to hospital, after discovering serious problems that would have otherwise gone un-diagnosed.
The tests include but aren’t limited to blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol readings, and are all conducted by a male nurse, who will then review the findings and suggest what actions should be taken.
Mr Thompson said they had a good number of participants last year, and are hoping for at least the same amount this time around given their increased presence in the Upper Hunter.
“We’d like to see the same sort of numbers this year,” he added.
“We haven’t done it in Singleton for a while and we’re going to do it in Denman as well so we’d like to see as many as we can.
“We’re focusing on the Men’s Shed, and the golf club and the tennis club and all those sorts of service organisations around town.”
He thanked Glencore who are the major sponsors of the program, which is allowing the checks to remain free for patients.
The van will be at the Singleton Golf Club between 10am and 4pm on Monday and Tuesday, October 8 and 9; and G James Service Centre, 47 Ogilvie Street, Denman, on Sunday and Monday, October 21 and 22 (10am-4pm).
Its itinerary can also be found at mherv.com.au.