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AMA to call for national action on alcohol

22 Jan 2014

MEDIA ALERT – MEDIA CONFERENCE
***Sydney, Thursday 23 January, 10.00am***

The Federal AMA will tomorrow make a call for concerted national action on alcohol harms, building on this week’s announcement by the NSW Government to introduce strong measures to curb alcohol- and substance-fuelled violence.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, Vice President, Professor Geoffrey Dobb, AMA NSW President, A/Prof Brian Owler, and AMA Victoria President, Dr Stephen Parnis, will hold a media conference in Sydney to outline practical measures to tackle the alcohol misuse and related harms that affect all Australians.

Dr Hambleton said today that a broad review of the harms of alcohol misuse in the community is needed, including an inquiry into alcohol marketing (especially the exposure to young people) and an examination of the impacts on the health system.

“Doctors across Australia every day have to deal with the broken bodies, shattered lives, and family tragedy related to alcohol,” Dr Hambleton said.

A recent survey by the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) showed that one in seven cases in Australian emergency departments are linked to alcohol, with one in three cases being alcohol-related in some ‘hot spots’.

Professor Dobb, A/Prof Owler, and Dr Parnis will discuss their experiences with patients admitted to hospital due to the effects of alcohol and the impact these patients have on hospital resources.

Professor Dobb is a Specialist in Intensive Care at Royal Perth Hospital, which has the State Major Trauma Unit. Every week, he directs the care of people severely injured by alcohol-fuelled violence, car crash drivers affected by alcohol, and people who took risks they would never take when sober.

A/Prof Owler is a Consultant Neurosurgeon at the Children's Hospital at Westmead, Norwest Private Hospital and Westmead Private, and Sydney Adventist Hospital at Wahroonga.  He is the face of the RTA/NSW AMA Road Safety 'Don't Rush' campaign.

Dr Parnis is a Consultant Emergency Physician in Melbourne who has worked in the Major Trauma Centre.  He sees the complete spectrum of presentations related to the harms of alcohol, including road trauma, self-harm, domestic and other violence, and the complications of alcohol-related cirrhosis.

AMA Media Conference:
Time:  10.00am
Date:   Thursday, 23 January 2014
Venue:  AMA NSW Conference Centre
Ground Floor, 69 Christie Street
St Leonards


22 January 2014

CONTACT: John Flannery  02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
 Kirsty Waterford  02 6270 5464 / 0427 2


Published: 22 Jan 2014