Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Monday, 26 September 2011 12:46 UK

Member's debate: Battling Scotland's drinking culture

SNP MSP James Dornan led a member's debate on battling Scotland's drinking culture, telling MSPs that without minimum pricing to tackle the problem they would just be "tinkering around the edges".

The Glasgow Cathcart MSP said for "maximum impact" in fighting the booze culture it required "minimum pricing", on 28 September 2011.

Mr Dornan's motion highlighted the findings of the British Medical Association's survey into the effect of alcohol on patients who visited GP practices in Glasgow and across Scotland on one day in April 2011.

The report found that there were over 5,500 consultations where alcohol was considered to be a contributing factor to the visit, equating to around two million visits a year.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: "We want to see a fundamental change in Scotland's relationship with alcohol."

Mr Matheson pointed out that alcohol abuse costs Scotland £3.56 bn each year.

The public health minister said without addressing affordability of alcohol battling the problem "would be like pushing water up hill".

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