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Andrology and Discrimination Against Men (five times updated)

Peter Zohrab 2016-7

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(Open Letter to the Minister of Health)

 

Dear Dr. Coleman,

 

I am writing to draw your attention to one aspect of my recent correspondence with the Capital and Coast District Health Board about Andrology (the male health specialty). I first raised this issue with them on 25 June 2016, asking:

“What information you possess as to the equity, human rights and medical issues surrounding the need to have an Andrology specialty and an Andrology ward at Wellington Hospital, as well as the current Gynecology and Obstetric specialties and wards.”

I have never received a direct answer from the Capital and Coast District Health Board, but I resorted to asking the Ombudsman to intervene, and it was from the Ombudsman that I received the news that the Capital and Coast District Health Board had admitted that:

“it did not hold any information ‘as to the equity, human rights and medical issues surrounding the need to have an Andrology speciality and an Andrology ward' at Wellington Hospital. The CCDHB advised this Office that it had made enquiries with clinical staff, and checked its policy and documentation database, and 'are not aware of any other agencies that may hold this information'.”

I attach a copy of the letter from the Ombudsman.

Please note that:

  1. There are two Acts of Parliament (the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the Human Rights Act 1993) which make discrimination on the basis of sex illegal in certain circumstances;

  2. The Capital and Coast District Health Board discriminates against men by not having a male health specialty, which would be able to do for male health what Gynecology does for women’s health – i.e. find linkages and conduct holistic or cross-system studies which would probably reveal relevant information;

  3. Women have gained huge rights and privileges on the basis of the claim that Feminism was about equality in the face of male oppression;

  4. If men complain that women have advantages over men, Feminists just respond that men should form their own pressure-groups! Why would men need their own pressure-groups if Feminists were promoting EQUALITY?

  5. In fact, men have discriminated against men and in favour of women, as the Andrology issue makes clear;

  6. Moreover, once women get jobs and power, they do *NOT* (usually) work towards equality, but perpetuate – and increase – the anti-male discrimination that already exists;

  7. This is demonstrated by the fact that the Capital and Coast District Health Board *does not even have any information relevant to the issue of having (or not having) a male health specialty*, so it is purely acting on the basis of Female Chauvinism and Misandry (man-hatred).

As a matter of urgency, could you please initiate a feasibility study into the introduction of Andrology to New Zealand medical schools, hospitals, the Health Ministry itself and District Health Boards?

 

I eventually received the following response (by email):

 

 

 

Below is my reply to Jonathan Coleman's letter:

 

Dear Dr. Coleman,

 

I am writing in response to your letter of 10 February 2017 , in which you stated:

"Endocrine and Urology departments … already meet men’s health needs."

 

As I understand them, the relevant issues and definitions are as follows:

  • The endocrine system is the collection of glands of an organism that secrete hormones directly into the circulatory system to be carried towards distant target organs.These glands include both specialized endocrine organs and other parts of the body which have secondary endocrine functions (according to Wikipedia).

  • Urology is the branch of medicine that focuses on surgical and medical diseases of the male and female urinary tract system and the male reproductive organs (according to Wikipedia).

  • Obstetrics is the field of study concentrated onpregnancy,childbirth , and the postpartum period (according to Wikipedia).

  • The human male reproductive system consists of the penis, the scrotum (including the testes), the epididymis, the vas deferens, the seminal vesicles, the prostate gland and the bulbourethral glands (according to Wikipedia).

  • The parts of the male reproductive system that have no role in the urinary tract system are the scrotum (including the testes), the epididymis, the vas deferens, the seminal vesicles, the prostate gland and the bulbourethral glands, although an enlarged prostate gland can have effects on urinary flow.

  • In other words, the penis is the only one of the seven components of the male reproductive system that has any role in the urinary system.

  • The human female reproductive system consists of the uterus , fallopian tubes, labia ,clitoris , vagina and ovaries (according to Wikipedia). The mammary glands are present in both sexes, can become cancerous in both sexes, but usually produce milk only in females.

  • The parts of the male and female reproductive systems that have endocrine functions are the testes, the ovarian follicle, the corpus luteum (also in the ovary), the placenta (during pregnancy) and the uterus (during pregnancy) (according to Wikipedia).

  • Thus the female reproductive system is more involved with the endocrine system than the male reproductive system is.

  • In other words, the only one of the seven components of the male reproductive system that has an endocrine function is the testes.

  • The male reproductive system is simply tacked onto the male urinary system, as far as teaching, research, prevention and treatment are concerned.

 

I note that:

  1. The male and female reproductive systems contain roughly the same number of parts (seven for the male and about six for the female).

  2. When a female is pregnant, her uterus becomes very large in comparison with the male reproductive system, but pregnancy is the subject of its own medical specialty or sub-specialty: obstetrics.

  3. The female reproductive system is more involved with the endocrine system than the male reproductive system is.

  4. The only one of the seven components of the male reproductive system that has an endocrine function is the testes.

  5. The only one of the seven components of the male reproductive system that has any role in the urinary system is the penis.

  6. Male life expectancy is less than female life expectancy and – for all you know – that is a result of not having resources devoted to andrology, the male health specialty.

 

Under the Official Information Act, could you please inform me:

  1. what information you have which justifies New Zealand having the female specialty of gynecology, but not a male specialty of andrology and

  2. what measure or criterion you have used to determine what New Zealand men’s health needs and women’s health needs are – given that women outlive men, on average.

 

I put it to you that men in power look after women’s health needs, but women in power in the health system are callous towards men’s health needs.

 

Yours sincerely,

Peter Zohrab

 

In due course, I received the following further reply:

 

Dear Peter Zohrab

On behalf of Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health, thank you for your email received 26 March 2017 requesting under the Official Information Act 1982:

1.what information you have which justifies New Zealand having the female specialty of gynecology, but not a male specialty of andrology and

2.what measure or criterion you have used to determine what New Zealand men’s health needs and women’s health needs are – given that women outlive men, on average.

The information requested appears to be more closely associated with the functions and responsibilities of the Ministry of Health. Accordingly, I am transferring your request to the Director-General of Health and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Health, Chai Chuah, under section 14 (b) (ii) of the Official Information Act 1982.

Melissa Buckle

Private Secretary

– Health Office of the Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health,

Minister for Sport and Recreation

 

I subsequently complained to the Ombudsman as follows:

 

Dear sir/Madam,

 

Could you please review and investigate the reply below from the office of the Minister of Health to my request for Official Information (below)?

I do not object to receiving a reply from the Ministry of Health, as well, but the Minister himself had expressed or implied the political opinion (see attached letter) that he knew what men's health needs were and therefore knew that Wellington Hospital already met those needs. Since he has apparently had a career as a General Practitioner, I assume that he was expressing a personal view, rather than basing himself on advice from officials.

Could you please therefore ask him to provide that Official Information as Minister, rather than relying solely on his Ministry? It is a political matter to establish what the health needs of any section of the community are.

 

Yours sincerely,

Peter Zohrab

 

I soon received the following reply from the Ombudsman:

 

 

I had already received the following reply from the Ministry of Health:

 

 

See also:

 

 

 

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16 June 2017

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