A record number of people were taken to hospital emergency wards last New Year’s Eve after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.
Nearly 600 seriously drunk people had to be rushed to hospitals around the country this year, according to the NOS news website. The figure represents a 22 percent increase on last year. The NOS quotes figures available at 73 of the country’s 99 emergency departments. Most of the 586 people taken to hospital were suffering from acute alcohol intoxication or had been involved in an accident.
Health Minister Edith Schippers has expressed shock at the news and has vowed to clamp down on alcohol abuse. The Upper House of Parliament is to discuss a draft bill aimed at improving the enforcement of alcohol legislation in the coming weeks. Minister Schippers is working on a separate plan to step efforts aimed at curbing alcohol abuse.
The total number of alcohol victims taken to emergency wards on New Year’s Eve was probably considerably higher. In ten hospitals staff only counted cases of acute alcohol intoxication, excluding drunk people who had sustained other kinds of bodily harm.
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