Dearer Alcohol Will See 'Fewer Admissions' to Our Hospitals

Daily Mail (London), May 25, 2015 | Go to article overview

Dearer Alcohol Will See 'Fewer Admissions' to Our Hospitals


Byline: Leah McDonald

MINIMUM pricing on alcohol will lead to a reduction in hospital admissions and a fall in crime, according to a medical expert.

Professor Frank Murray, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said the introduction of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill is a 'great start' to tackle what he described as a 'crisis' with alcohol consumption in Ireland.

He said: 'There is substantial evidence from Canada that an increase in price of about 10 per cent is associated with an 8 per cent fall in alcohol sales and a reduction in hospital admissions associated with alcohol and also with crime related to alcohol.

'It's got proven benefits, in addition to Ireland we know that alcohol sales respond to crime from previous measures in excise and taxation.

'There was an immediate fall in alcohol-related admissions.' A recent Glasgow study showed the risk of dying from alcohol-related diseases was directly related to the number of outlets in an area, he said.

Professor Murray said: 'That doesn't come as any very big surprise. If you want to reduce mortality, we should think very carefully about how we sell alcohol and I would say to reduce the number of off licences selling alcohol because of that relationship.' Back in February Health Minister Leo Varadkar described the new laws as 'the most far-reaching proposed by any Irish Government'. …

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