The Investigating the introduction of the alcohol minimum unit price in the Northern Territory report says the NT Minimum Unit Price (MUP) is contributing, in concert with other policy measures, to the reduction of alcohol associated harms including:
- a 23 per cent reduction in alcohol related assaults across the Territory in 2018/19 compared to the same period in 2017/18;
- a 17.3 per cent reduction in alcohol related emergency department presentations in 2018/19 compared to the same period in 2017/18.
In particular the College notes the success the government’s alcohol policy settings have had in reducing harm linked to alcohol in parts of the territory including Alice Springs and Katherine. We also welcome the emergence of positive trends in Darwin, as identified by the report, and eagerly await further data on impacts in the capital.
ACEM Northern Territory Faculty Deputy Chair Dr Stephen Gourley said: “We welcome the positive findings contained in this report and continue to support evidence-based measures to reduce the devastating impact of alcohol fuelled harm in our communities.”
“Alcohol fuelled harm remains a significant concern in the Northern Territory, but clearly this report shows promising signs.
“We congratulate the Northern Territory Government for taking a strong stance on alcohol associated harm and encourage them to stay the course on this policy agenda.”
ACEM President Dr John Bonning said:
“Emergency physicians across Australia continue to see and contend with the harm wrought by the abuse of alcohol across our communities and in hospital emergency departments.
“In addition to the risks to individuals and the additional burden on healthcare systems as a result of excessive alcohol consumption, ED staff are also exposed to violence and threats from intoxicated patients. This is completely unacceptable.
“ACEM has long advocated for evidence-based measures such as price, availability and access restrictions to limit excessive purchases and consumption of alcohol, and associated harms. We welcome the findings of this report.”
ACEM is the peak body for emergency medicine in Australia and New Zealand, responsible for training emergency physicians and advancement of professional standards. www.acem.org.au