(London) According to a new report, the British health care system (NHS) is being wobbled by the nation's notorious drinking culture.
The cash-strapped National Health Service - the U.K.'s taxpayer-funded medical system - now spends 2.7 billion pounds ($4.4 billion) a year treating patients for drink-related problems, double the amount five years ago, the report said. Total funding for the health care system is currently around 100 billion pounds ($162 billion) a year.It appears that many British citizens are exceeding the government recommended maximum of four small glasses of beer daily. Imagine that.
The report - published by the NHS Confederation, a health-care providers organization, and the Royal College of Physicians, which represents doctors - warns that about 10.5 million adults in Britain drink above sensible limits, and 1.1 million people have some form of alcohol addiction.
Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said the National Health Service could not afford to continue treating alcohol-related problems at current levels, and that health-care providers had to be more proactive in preventing people from drinking too much.As a result, the government's top medical advisor suggests raising the price of alcohol.
"The role of the NHS should not just be about treating the consequences of alcohol-related harm but also about active prevention, early intervention and working in partnership with services in local communities to raise awareness of alcohol-related harm," he said.