BMA Wants Better Funding For Scottish Alcohol Services

The leader of Scotland's doctors today called for better funding and provision of alcohol treatment services in Scotland.

His call came following the publication of the Audit Scotland report, Drug and alcohol services in Scotland.

Dr Peter Terry, Chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said: "Alcohol kills six people every day in Scotland. Whilst drinking in moderation can be a source of pleasure, the effect of excessive alcohol consumption on our health and the related social and economic impact is significant.

"This report provides further evidence of Scotland's growing problem with alcohol misuse."

The BMA has welcomed the Scottish Government's commitment to tackle the scourge of alcohol misuse on our society.
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It is widely recognised that there is no single solution to the nation’s alcohol problem and that is why doctors have welcomed the debate on a whole range of strategies including pricing, labelling, education and treatment.

Dr Terry added: "Alcohol related disease is wholly preventable and if we take effective steps to prevent alcohol misuse then the provision of treatment services would not be such an issue. However, at the present time it is necessary that more is done to help people with alcohol problems.

"We need to identify patients who are misusing alcohol much earlier, but it doesn’t end there. There must be enough funding in place to refer patients who are at risk to specialist centres. Alcohol is a public health priority and I want Scottish Ministers to work with doctors to put an end to Scotland's drink problem."

It is estimated that alcohol costs the NHS £110 million, with the overall cost to Scotland (including social work, criminal justice, emergency services and economic costs) equalling £1.1 billion per year.


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