The Jamaican government will be developing an alcohol policy to control the consumption of alcohol as part of measures to prevent abuse of hard liquor. Jamaica’s Minister of Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson has said that the proposed alcohol policy will be enacted following consultation with industry players “We will be consulting with various stakeholders, including the alcohol industry. We understand that this is a business, and we are really referring to the type of drinking that is detrimental to health and has negative consequences,” Dr Ferguson said at the annual general meeting of the Jamaica Association of Professionals in Nutrition and Dietetics on August 22. “I have stated that this is not about reducing the production of alcohol, or putting in sanctions to the alcohol industry and their core business, or stopping consumers from purchasing alcoholic products. I am simply concerned about the health effects of irresponsible drinking,” the Minister said
According to Ferguson a control mechanism must be put in place to protect health, as alcohol abuse causes many challenges to family members when heavy drinkers develop non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and when it results in road accidents. “We know of some of the road crashes that force our health institutions to be cancelling one out of three surgeries, because of these emergencies, many of which are driven by alcohol use,” he said.