BSG response to the Government's Alcohol Strategy and Minimum Unit Pricing proposals
Professor Jon Rhodes, President of the British Society of Gastroenterology, commented on the launch of the Government's Alcohol Strategy.
"The British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) is thrilled to see today's announcement by the Government on their plans to tackle the country's ever growing alcohol related problems.
Minimum unit pricing is a highly targeted approach that will deliver reductions in alcohol-related harm within a short time frame. It's introduction will be a huge step in reducing alcohol harm.
A joined up policy approach which addresses the quality and co-ordination of hospital and community services, as well as the price and availability of alcohol, is both coherent and evidence-based. It will deliver the health outcomes and reductions in alcohol related mortality we are aiming for.
Our National Health Service is witnessing the devastating effect that alcohol is having on our population's health every day. A&E units see 40-70%, of their patients, depending on the time of day, as a result of alcohol harm. Most concerning is the increasing number of patients being treated on our wards with alcoholic liver disease. These people are not the stereotyped alcoholic you see in the media, they are ordinary people who have been unwittingly trapped in a cycle of drinking until it has spiralled out of their control. Many are completely unaware of the problem until very late down the line.
These are harms that can often be prevented by more responsible drinking and we congratulate the Government's determination to look after its citizens by ensuring effective measures are in place to redress the status quo."