Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today stressed the importance of swiftly introducing minimum unit pricing as part of a new push to win Scotland's battle with the bottle as new figures showed alcohol-related hospital stays rose for the third year in a row.
New figures published by ISD Scotland show that there were almost 36,235 alcohol-related inpatient hospital admissions in 2016/17 - an increase of 2.4%.
Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:
“These numbers show that Scotland continues to have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, with 100 people a day admitted to hospital.
“In excess alcohol hurts individuals, families and communities while alcohol-related admissions put immense pressure on our hardworking NHS staff. This is especially shocking when you see that admission rates are nearly 8 times higher for people from the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived areas.
"The Scottish Government has belatedly recognised Liberal Democrat calls to reverse their damaging 20% cut to drug and alcohol support services but there is much more to do. Now we finally have the go ahead for minimum unit pricing I urge the Government to act swiftly and put it into practice as part of a new push to win the battle with the bottle”