26/03/2009

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.
News Image
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.

(JM/BMcC)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

12 June 2003
Charity urges better services for treating alcoholism
A leading social care charity has urged the government to give alcohol treatment as high a priority as it does for drug misuse, following the publication of research earlier today.
04 May 2011
One Day, 5,500 Patients - Alcohol Costing £28m


According to a survey conducted by the British Medical Association (BMA) in Scotland, on one day in April, alcohol was a factor in more than 5,500 consultations in general practice. This equates to around 1.4 million consultations per year, costing the NHS in excess of £28 million and accounts for six per cent of all GP consultations.
02 March 2009
Plans To Tackle Alcohol Abuse Announced In Scotland
Plans to ban two-for-one alcohol promotions and cheap supermarket booze have been outlined by the Scottish government today, to help tackle alcohol misuse.
18 May 2006
Government action urged on alcoholic parents
An estimated one in eleven children in the UK are living with parents who misuse alcohol, according to a report. Social care charity Turning Point said that children whose parents had alcohol problems often suffered behavioural, emotional and school-related problems.
03 October 2008
Doctors Call For Better Booze Labelling
A group of leading medics, the BMA Scotland, has called on the Government to legislate for the introduction of compulsory labelling on all alcoholic products. They said today that the move would help people understand and manage their drinking habits.