Thursday, March 15, 2012

Health Committee to discuss substance misuse strategy with Minister Roisin Shortall

Minister of State with responsibility for primary care, Roisin Shortall, TD, will attend the meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children tomorrow, 15th March to discuss the Steering Group Report on a National Substance Misuse Strategy.

Committee Chairman, Jerry Buttimer TD said: “In January this Committee launched a major report The misuse of alcohol and other drugs which called for an end to VAT refunds on below-cost sales of alcohol and for the Government to explore the option of a ban on all retail advertising relating to the discounting of alcoholic products. The report also confirmed that a majority of the Committee support moving towards introducing minimum pricing in respect of alcoholic drinks.

This report will complement the Steering Group Report on a National Substance Misuse Strategy which was launched last month. Therefore it is timely that Minister Shortall and Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, should attend our meeting tomorrow to discuss the findings of the report and provide members with an overview of some of the evidence presented by the Steering Group on the adverse implications of alcohol on society.

It is the Committee’s belief that there is no single measure which will solve the problem of alcohol misuse. Rather, a package of measures is needed to change our attitudes towards, and behaviour regarding, the consumption of alcohol.

We would hope that the implementation of findings and recommendations from both reports will help to bring about a change in attitudes towards the misuse of alcohol by illustrating the huge personal and economic costs caused by hazardous drinking.”

The meeting takes place, Thursday, 15th March, 11.30am in Committee Room 2, LH 2000. Committee proceedings can be followed live at: http://bit.ly/24YmPIw

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