As lockdown eases and people increasingly socialise, Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has highlighted the need to drink responsibly and said new statistics showing 90,000 ambulance call-outs since 2016 registered alcohol as a factor "emphasise once again the thanks we owe to hardworking NHS staff".
A parliamentary question answered by the Health Secretary revealed that between 2016 and 2019 ambulance crews noted alcohol was a factor in 89,265 callouts.
Alex Cole-Hamilton commented:
"The number of ambulance callouts that have been tied to alcohol consumption over the last few years is staggering. Vast resources and a lot of staff time is tied up in dealing with these incidents.
“Scots across the country will be delighted to have the opportunity to socialise more and to see their local pubs and restaurants open their doors once again. But as they do, everyone needs to act responsibly to avoid unnecessarily adding to the workload of staff who have worked so hard, protect the capacity of the health service and the secure the progress we’ve made in stamping out the virus.
“We owe wearied NHS workers unending thanks for the life-saving work they've carried out throughout the pandemic. These new figures show just how much of a burden alcohol is on their daily operations and emphasises once again the thanks we owe them.
"One of the ways we can show that thanks is by being responsible and respectful as we all socialise more and ensure they are not burdened by a cascade of drunken callouts."