Published: 15th May 2009
The Government has launched a new consultation on a proposed mandatory code on alcohol sales, which aims to tackle alcohol-related crime/disorder, and also reduce the massive NHS bill caused by excessive drinking.
The Home Office consultation runs for 12 weeks. Its proposals include:
CMF issued the following statement:
Dr Peter Saunders, General Secretary at Christian Medical Fellowship, commented:
'Research shows that both alcohol-associated crime and health consequences are directly related to the quantity of alcohol a population consumes, and this correlates with the availability and acceptability of alcohol. The government must employ solutions proven to be effective. Price is the major determinant of alcohol consumption and we endorse attempts to introduce realistic pricing to reduce consumption. The Home Office proposals are therefore a welcome start but only a start.
We would go further in supporting Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson in his call for a minimum price for alcohol. Under this proposal, no drinks could be sold for less than 50 pence per unit of alcohol they contain. This would add around £1 a month to the drinks bill of a moderate drinker – but more for those heavy drinkers who were at risk. After ten years such a move would lead to 3,400 fewer deaths and 100,000 fewer hospital admissions a year.
Historically, the strong tradition of temperance associated with the Christian church has been a response to appalling health and social problems caused by alcohol. We are seeing such problems again – particularly with much greater consumption by younger women, and the increase in sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies associated with irresponsible behaviour caused by excessive drinking.'
See our earlier statement.
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668
Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.
CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.