Alcohol Bill "vital" say Emergency Department doctors

Breaking News | 21 Sep 2017 | 0 Comment(s)

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The Irish Association for Emergency Medicine (IAEM) has joined the growing number of organisations seeking the "full enactment" of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.

"Those working in Emergency Departments (EDs) in Ireland witness at first hand the devastation caused to people’s lives through alcohol misuse," the IAEM said in a strongly worded statement.

"This misuse manifests in many different ways. The statistics are truly frightening: alcohol is responsible for three deaths each and every day in Ireland, half of all suicides, a third of all attempted suicides, two fifths of all deaths on Irish roads, a quarter of all traumatic brain injuries and it contributes in some way to a quarter of ED attendances."

The IAEM calls the Bill "a vital step" in Ireland’s attempts "to curb this carnage".

"The IAEM has supported previous initiatives to lessen the burden of alcohol-related harm. We strongly urge that the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill is enacted in full and is not allowed to be neutered by the efforts of those who profit so much from the sale of alcohol."

The Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015 was approved by the Government in December 2015. However since then, to the anger of many in the medical community, it has not moved very far.

However last month Minister for Health Simon Harris said that he would like the Bill to be passed before the end of autumn.

* There will be a feature looking at the debate around the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill in our next issue, coming out next Monday 25 September.

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