UK Women Have the Highest Rate of Binge Drinking 

Coping with alcohol misuse

According to a report, women in the United Kingdom have the highest rate of binge drinking among women worldwide.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 26% of people consume at least six alcoholic drinks in one sitting at least once every month.

According to the findings of a recent report, the most prominent female binge drinkers in the world are found to be British women.

OECD looked at drinking habits in 33 different countries and compared them.

With 26% of women in the UK engaging in binge drinking at least once per month, the United Kingdom topped the global rankings for this type of drinking behaviour among females. Binge drinking is defined as consuming at least six drinks in a single sitting. On the other hand, the rate for British men was higher, coming in at 45%.

The United Kingdom and Luxembourg tied for third place in the overall rankings for binge drinking rates when both sexes were considered together, trailing only Romania and Denmark.

Dr Richard Piper, chief executive of Alcohol Change UK, said: “Alcohol causes too much harm here in the UK. But this is avoidable”.

“There is an overwhelming need for the government to introduce measures that we know will reduce alcohol harm and save lives, such as proper controls on alcohol marketing, introducing minimum unit pricing in England like we already have in Scotland and Wales, and clearer alcohol labelling.”

The report by the OECD also found that adults in the UK were more likely to say they vaped compared to adults in other countries, even though smoking rates in the UK are lower than average. In comparison to the OECD average of 16%, the United Kingdom only has a current smoking population of 12.7%. Despite this, 4.9% of adults reported regular use of e-cigarettes, significantly higher than the national average of 3.2%.

According to the report’s findings, the United Kingdom spends more on healthcare than comparable countries, has fewer hospital beds and diagnostic tools, and pays its nurses less.

The United Kingdom spends a proportion of its GDP higher than the average for “health system resources,” allocating approximately 11.3% of its GDP to healthcare spending in 2022.

According to the OECD report, the United States, Germany, France, Japan, and Austria are the only nations that spend a more significant proportion.

Nevertheless, the report suggested that, despite being one of the largest spenders, the United Kingdom needs to rank favourably on a significant number of healthcare measures.

In 2021, the OECD found that there were, on average, 4.3 hospital beds available for every 1,000 people in the population across all countries it analysed.

Only Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, and Sweden reported having fewer beds per 1,000 people than the United Kingdom, which had 2.4 beds for every 1,000 people.

It also has a lower number of MRI, CT, and PET scanners than the majority of the other countries that were analysed for the OECD’s report “Health at a Glance.”

The report also concluded that the remuneration of hospital nurses in 2021 was 20% higher than the average wage of all employees. This finding was applicable across all OECD countries.

According to the OECD, however, nurses in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Finland, and Latvia made less money than the average worker.

According to Professor Nicola Ranger, the chief nurse at the Royal College of Nursing, “Politicians should see this as an indictment.” The United Kingdom is embarrassed on the same day that the government will only briefly mention the National Health Service (NHS) in the King’s Speech.

“The National Health Service is spending a lot of money, but not on the right things. For example, it spends billions of dollars on temporary help rather than appreciating its permanent employees.”

A spokesperson of the Department of Health and Social Care said: “This report uses data from 2021, and since then, we have made significant progress in boosting bed numbers and diagnostic capacity.

“The NHS has met its target to roll out 10,000 hospitals at home beds ahead of winter and is also delivering 5,000 more permanent hospital beds.

“We will also meet our target to open 160 community diagnostic centres a year early as a result of the most significant central cash investment in MRI and CT scanning capacity in the history of the NHS.

“Over one million staff, including nurses, have received a 5% pay rise for 2023-24 alongside two one-off payments; this is on top of a pay rise worth 5.5% for newly qualified nurses in 2022-23.”

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