Minimum alcohol price: Now is the time to act

Minimum alcohol price: Now is the time to act


Tuesday 9 October 2018

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The Australian Medical Association (WA) strongly welcomes the WA Alcohol and Youth Action Coalition’s case for a Minimum Price for Alcohol.

 

“We know the harm that really cheap grog has on our society,” AMA (WA) President Dr Omar Khorshid said today.

 

“Excessive alcohol consumption is the source of significant health, social and economic harms, particularly among young Australians. There are more alcohol-related Emergency Department presentations in WA than the rest of Australia, something that our doctors and nurses see every day,” Dr Khorshid said.

 

The Northern Territory has introduced a minimum price for alcohol, which is a result of many years of advocacy and shows the commitment of the NT Government to put the health of the community first.

 

“It is now time for WA State Government to prioritise the health, welfare and safety of West Australians,” he said.

 

There is strong evidence that increasing the price of alcohol has a significant positive effect on the health of our heaviest drinkers.

 

“This will have no impact on the vast majority of people who drink socially, but it will make a difference to the heaviest drinkers and teenagers – those who are most responsive to changes in price and have the greatest harms associated with binge drinking. “

 

Out at pubs and clubs, alcoholic beverages are already above the floor price per drink. Even a carton of VB won’t change in price.

 

Only the very cheapest, high-alcohol, low-quality options will be affected by a minimum price – those that people buy purely because they are cheap, and are often consumed to excess.

 

“Introducing a minimum price on alcohol is an important step which will result in fewer cases of alcohol-fuelled violence and crime, hospitalisations, and tragic and avoidable alcohol-related deaths.”

 

“The time for action is now,” Dr Khorshid said.

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