Health Outcomes International - National Alcohol Strategy

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29 November 2015

The aim of the strategy should be to reduce and stop the harm from alcohol rather than develop a framework. The NAS should include clear objectives, strategies and actions and have measurable targets. It should follow the World Health Organization (WHO) approach in its global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol. At a minimum, the NAS should include a target based on Australia's commitment to the WHO target of a 10 per cent relative reduction in the harmful use of alcohol by 2025.

The WHO Global Strategy principles are:

  • Public policies and interventions to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm should be guided and formulated by public health interests and based on clear public health goals and the best available evidence.
  • Policies should be equitable and sensitive to national, religious and cultural contexts.
  • All involved parties have the responsibility to act in ways that do not undermine the implementation of public policies and interventions to prevent and reduce harmful use of alcohol.
  • Public health should be given proper deference in relation to competing interests and approaches that support that direction should be promoted.
  • Protection of populations at high risk of alcohol-attributable harm and those exposed to the effects of harmful drinking by others should be an integral part of policies addressing the harmful use of alcohol.
  • Individuals and families affected by the harmful use of alcohol should have access to affordable and effective prevention and care services.
  • Individuals who choose not to drink alcohol beverages have the right to be supported in their non-drinking behaviour and protected from pressures to drink.
  • Public policies and interventions to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harm should encompass all alcoholic beverages and surrogate alcohol.