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Despite liquor ban, number of alcoholists doubled in Gujarat

The state government gives liquor permit to a patient only after the recommendation of the local medical board

Saturday March 13, 2021 10:20 AM, Amit Cowper, IANS


Gandhinagar: A new data presented in the Gujarat state Assembly points out towards the helplessness against the growing number of alcoholism patients, and the failure of the healthcare systems. The number of new alcoholism patients in Gujarat has more than doubled in just three years' period, from October 2017 to September 2020.

From October 2017 to September 2018, a total of 1,717 patients applied for liquor to be obtained under the health permit, which is issued to an alcoholic patient. Also, from October 2019 to September 2020, there were a total of 3,587 patients who were issued such a permit, which is more than double.

Who is eligible for liquor permit?

The state government gives liquor permit to a patient only after the recommendation of the local medical board.

These figures were released in the Gujarat Assembly during the ongoing budget session.

Shailesh Parmar, the Congress legislator from Danilimda, had sought the information regarding the health permits issued from October 2017 to September 2020 in Gujarat.

It's not only a worrying picture for the new alcoholism patients in Gujarat, but also a matter of concern that there has been no improvement in the patients who are already having the permits and are being treated.

The number of such patients is also constantly on the rise as the renewal of these permits rose by 33 per cent from a total of 6,259 in 2017-18 to 8,309 permits in 2018-19, which further climbed by 23 per cent as 10,189 permits were renewed.

"Districtwise data"

According to the renewed and fresh permits issued in 2019-20, the state has a total of around 13,776 alcoholism patients who needs alcohol for their treatment.

The maximum patients are from the financial capital Ahmedabad -- 5,101. Surat has the second highest patients, 1,600, followed by Vadodara with 1,345, Rajkot 717, Kutch-Bhuj 691, Anand 566, Porbandar 564, Jamnagar 444, Bharuch 433 and Bhavnagar with 350 patients.

While the patients of alcoholism increasing, the state government is also earning through the health permits issued to them. During the said period of three years, the government earned around Rs 20 crore. The new patient is charged Rs 1,000 for obtaining the health permit, whereas the charges for its renewal is Rs 3,000.


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