- Lauri Beekmann
IOGT-NTO: The government declaration is characterized by a deficient public health perspective
21.10.2022 - "It is remarkable that a government declaration, with a pandemic looming, completely lacks action when it comes to public health prevention," says Irma Kilim, IOGT-NTO's drug policy director.
IOGT-NTO points out that the government's plan for the next term is clearly lacking in public health issues. IOGT-NTO is, among other things, critical of the fact that so few proposals are presented for how Sweden will prevent public health diseases and drug problems, especially among young people.
"It is remarkable that preventive public health work receives so little space in the government declaration, although we know that non-communicable diseases account for the majority of all deaths in Sweden. Many of these deaths are premature and preventable. Physical activity, healthy eating habits and not least a good alcohol policy has a proven effect on the reduction of these diseases," says Irma Kilim.
IOGT-NTO welcomes the government's desire to strengthen addiction care and supports the proposal that addiction care should be the responsibility of the regions.
"Municipalities, regions, organisations and individuals have for many years signalled a need for improvements in addiction care, not least in terms of coordination. Shifting responsibility to a single body will hopefully improve the situation for people with addiction and their families," continues Irma Kilim.
However, IOGT-NTO is highly critical of the government's proposal in the Tidö Agreement to investigate the possibility of deporting people with foreign citizenship on the grounds of bad character, where "addiction" is listed as a possible ground for deportation.
"Individuals in addiction need a way out of addiction, not out of Sweden. We know that people who have migrated, for example, have often experienced traumatic events and that this can contribute to mental illness and addiction, so they need more support, help and care - not less," Kilim continues.
The new Minister of Social Affairs, Jakob Forssmed, takes over at an important time for Swedish public health policy.
"Sweden has long been a leading country in the area of public health, especially with regard to alcohol policy. I therefore hope that the new social minister continues to develop the ANDTS issues and promotes measures aimed at a society where people's health is prioritized, not health-damaging industries," concludes Irma Kilim.