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Would minimum unit pricing help curb SA's binge drinking culture?

14 July 2020 1:03 PM
Tags:
Alcohol
Binge drinking
booze ban
Lockdown
COVID-19
ban on alcohol
ban on alcohol sales

On Sunday the government reinstated the ban on alcohol sales in a bid to relieve pressure on the country's trauma units.

CapeTalk's Lester Kiewit asks Professor Charles Parry of the ‎South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) what factors need to be addressed to tackle South Africa's binge drinking culture.

Parry says when the sale of alcohol ban was initially lifted on 1 June, hospital trauma units were hit hard:

Some of our trauma doctors had been helping on the medical side, but now they've had to go back to the trauma cases.

Prof Charles Parry, Director of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit - ‎South African Medical Research Council

Alcohol is probably 50% of trauma presentations to public hospitals around the country.

Prof Charles Parry, Director of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit - ‎South African Medical Research Council

We have competing interests...trauma patients come in they need immediate response...they're automatically going to take resources away...

Prof Charles Parry, Director of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit - ‎South African Medical Research Council

Parry says a long-term solution is needed, one that considers a number of factors:

We have to deal with the issue of availability. Taxation is also a huge issue. The drinking age, that's been put on the table, dealing with alcohol advertising.

Prof Charles Parry, Director of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit - ‎South African Medical Research Council

He says minimum unit pricing could be one solution:

Alcohol is very cheap in this country. Much of it is consumed for between R4 and R6 per standard drinking and we need to look at raising that.

Prof Charles Parry, Director of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit - ‎South African Medical Research Council

Listen as Charles Parry talks binge drinking on The Midday Report with Lester Kiewit:


14 July 2020 1:03 PM
Tags:
Alcohol
Binge drinking
booze ban
Lockdown
COVID-19
ban on alcohol
ban on alcohol sales

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