Women live seven years longer than men, on average, in part because men are less likely to take good care of themselves.
They tend not to visit the doctor regularly or undergo routine medical screenings.
According to a recent Cleveland Clinic survey, more than half of men don’t even talk about their health, preferring conversations about sports, current events or their jobs.
Yet the leading causes of death among American men — heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory diseases — are largely preventable or manageable through regular primary care.
But there are still barriers to many of these types of services. Some men can’t afford access to care, or lack convenient transportation. Motivation also matters: some men simply don’t want to schedule a doctor’s appointment.
Enter the Man Van.
The result of a partnership between Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, and Broward Health Foundation, the van travels through South Florida providing health screenings with a particular focus on men. The screenings, which take about 30 minutes, include tests for diabetes and high blood pressure, among other conditions. People without health insurance pay a flat rate of $75.
The Man Van has already provided more than 1,400 screenings, or about 40 a month. The project demonstrates that providing convenient, quick and affordable service can make preventive care more attractive.