Home > Former Health Chief urges County Councillors to support Alcohol reduction campaign.

[Alcohol Forum] Former Health Chief urges County Councillors to support Alcohol reduction campaign. (31 Jan 2014)

External website: http://www.alcoholforum.org/

Pat Harvey, former CEO of North Western Health Board and founding member of the Alcohol Forum, addressed the LAMA conference in Monaghan on Friday 31st January.

At the moment Pat is heavily engaged with the Higher Education Authority in leading the major national Reform Programme of the third level education system). Pat formed his own management consultancy firm on leaving the health service in 2005. However he has continued to give of his time as Executive Chairman of the Alcohol Forum Health (on a pro bono basis), a forum which has its genesis back when he was CEO of the Health Board. He was then and still is gravely concerned about for the harm associated with alcohol consumption levels in this country.

Speaking on behalf of the Alcohol Forum at the LAMA conference in Monaghan he said:
“We are not anti-drink, we are not anti-pub, but we are anti-harmful drinking levels and there are things we can readily do about it that are proven to work whist yet not spoiling the ‘craic’! We must be mindful all the time of the mightily well-funded Goliath in our midst: The multimillion Euro PR arm of the drinks industry!”

Pat urged the attendees that
"We must reduce harmful drinking. The equivalent of 6 hospitals are full every night with drink related conditions; 1000 deaths per annum are attributable to alcohol (i.e. 5 times more than road traffic accidents); €3.7 billion per year is spent on the fall out of excessive alcohol and the staggering statistics go on. WE need, as a country and as the civic leaders in our society, to further grasp this problem by the neck and deal with it. We simply cannot be passing this problem on to the next generation as our shameful legacy!”

Suggesting a way to deal with this crisis in society, Pat declared:
"WE know what to do. The Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health has made recommendations in the National Strategy Report. We know for instance there is a direct link between price, easy availability of alcohol in forecourts and supermarkets and such like. There are measures we can take and the evidence is there that measures will have a powerful and positive impact and it still will not spoil our 'craic', or our pubs!"

Pat invited the Councillors to use the Alcohol Forum's 'Festival Guide' and to send a few representatives from each Co Council to the conference in the Convention Centre Dublin on the 2nd April 2014 (during the Alcohol Awareness Week).

Contact (for more information or pictures):
Emily Scanlan
Fundraising and Marketing Manager
M: +353(0)860260300


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