A Dublin GP says he has set up a male-only clinic as part of his efforts to encourage men to visit their doctor 'early and often'.
Dr Gavin Keane says men on average die younger than women, and often from illnesses that can be prevented or treated if detected early on.
Dr Keane is the founder of MensHealth.ie, based in Morehampton Clinic in Donnybrook.
The clinic has been set up in a bid to make it as 'easy as possible' for men to contact their GP.
On today's Newstalk Breakfast, Dr Keane said he set up the clinic based on his experiences as a male doctor.
He said: "I see a lot of male patients - and a lot of these consults begin with the guys saying ‘I never go to the doctor’ or ‘I really don’t like going to the doctor’. There’s an in-built reluctance to going to the doctor in a lot of men.
“The trouble is that men die younger than women, and they die from illnesses that are mostly preventable - or at least treatable - when discovered early on.
“To discover them early, you have to get to your GP and get yourself checked. That’s the mission here: to get men to their GP early and often, and to change that statistic of men dying earlier than they have to."
His hope is that the new clinic will be a centre where men can feel comfortable talking about particular problems they might be experiencing.
He observed: “If you look at the reasons why men don’t go to the doctors… I think one of the main reasons is that men are conditioned from a very early age not to ask for help. They’re conditioned by their friends, fathers, culture in every form that they have to be strong and sort out their problems.
“That masculine mindset is really deeply-ingrained still, and that bleeds into when they have to access healthcare.”
Dr Keane suggested women typically have more reasons to go to a doctor throughout their life, pointing to the likes of menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.
He said he now wants to do something to get men to visit their doctor regularly as well, and this new clinic is one step in trying to achieve that.