Mixed reactions to government’s advice to avoid alcohol by doctors in conferences

Mixed reactions to government's advice to avoid alcohol by doctors in conferences

Kolkata: The union health ministry’s urge to doctors to refrain from alcohol consumption during conferences, workshops, and seminars have evoked mixed response from the medical fraternity. While some feel that the focus should be on improving working conditions some said that this was a welcome move.
In a recent letter to various doctors’ bodies including the IMA professor Atul Goel, director general of health sciences had urged the doctors to avoid alcohol in any form during medical conferences, seminars and workshops. Goel said being health professionals doctors should follow a healthy lifestyle. He cited that non communicable diseases (NCDs) are estimated to account for 63% of all deaths in the country of which cardiovascular diseases lead with 27% overall mortality.
“The rise in NCDs has been driven primarily by four major risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diet. Alcohol is linked with many diseases including liver cirrhosis, several cancers, injuries and haemorrhagic strokes. Being health professionals we should follow a healthy lifestyle and it may be advised that alcohol in any form may be avoided in medical conferences/workshops/seminars/CME to set an example of good habit which can be emulated by others,” the letter reads.
Doctors said that organisers of conferences and workshops sometimes arrange dinner and drinks in the evening following hectic academic activities during the day.
The IMA national head Anil Nayek said this was a welcome move. Association of Health Services Doctors said alcohol and tobacco is bad for everyone cutting all professions. The organisation questioned why this advisory was restricted to the medical community.
“In such a case all state governments should also stop issuing liquor licenses and close all liquor shops,” said another doctor.

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