Alcohol ban has eased burden on health facilities, says WC Health Dept

The provincial Health Department said more beds have been freed up hospitals.

Western Cape head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, said that since 28 December, when the alcohol ban was reinstated, there'd been a significant and sustained decline in alcohol-related trauma cases. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - While the alcohol industry continues to raise concerns over the financial impact on the extended ban on sales, Western Cape health officials say this has eased the burden on health facilities.

The provincial Health Department said that more beds had been freed up hospitals.

READ MORE: WC Health Dept relieved as COVID cases stabilise, hospital admissions drop

Government has repeatedly cited alcohol as a contributor to uncontrollable behaviour, leading to added pressure on health resources.

Western Cape head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, said that since 28 December, when the alcohol ban was reinstated, there'd been a significant and sustained decline in alcohol-related trauma cases.

Two weeks before the ban, the average admissions per day at five key hospitals was 76. Two weeks after that it dropped to 43.

ALSO READ: EC, WC Health Depts explain their COVID-19 fighting efforts to MPs

Cloete said that maximum cases recorded on the Day of Goodwill on 26 December was 157, that reduced to 66 cases on New Year’s Day.

“So, what is all means is that after the alcohol ban, the number of trauma cases decreased by 51%. Two weeks before, two weeks after and the maximum trauma cases declined by 60%.”

Cloete also compared New Year’s Day in 2020 to this year and he said that the curve flattened and had decreased by 65%.

“And this is the experience that has been experienced by all emergency centres and that has been sustained since New Year’s Day, that we have lower levels of trauma in our hospitals.”

WATCH: Gauteng health facilities facing COVID-19 strain

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.