Ontario’s government has moved to make alcohol more available in the province, but that has Public Health concerned.
Policy is being introduced that will allow for municipalities to permit tailgating and consumption of alcohol in public places among other changes. Hastings-Prince Edward Public Health’s Medical Officer of Health Piotr Oglaza says that with increased availability comes increased use and the possibility of increased harm.
Oglaza says he knows the “vast majority” of people drink responsibly in Ontario. “But we also know that the stats from our area present a slightly different picture.” Public Health notes that the rates of injury-related hospitalizations because of alcohol are higher in Hastings and Prince Edward than they are in the rest of Ontario. 202.3 people are hospitalized per 100,000 in Hastings and Prince Edward for alcohol-related injuries. It’s 126.1 people per 100,000 in the rest of the province.
From 2012 to 2016, 47.1-percent of hospitalizations locally because of alcohol-related injuries for people 15 to 69 years old were because of self-inflicted harm. 17.6-percent were because of falls, 16.6-percent because of other unintentional injuries, 7.6-percent because of car crashes and 3.2-percent because of poisoning.
Hastings-Prince Edward Board of Health decided they will write a letter to the Ministry of Health to express their disagreement with increasing access to alcohol in Ontario.