Posted: Tue 10th Oct 2023

Future of Welsh NHS: New report indicates rising pressures

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 10th, 2023

A new report indicates that Wales’ health and social care system is poised for considerable challenges, owing to an ageing and increasingly unhealthy population.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan has called on everyone to play their part in the future of Wales’ health and social care system.

Statistics from the report suggest that, within the next 15 years, almost 20% of Wales’ population will be 70 or older. Furthermore, an anticipated 22% increase in diabetes cases and a potential doubling of individuals with four or more chronic health conditions is expected.

In the Senedd today (10 October), the Health Minister will address the Chief Scientific Adviser for Health’s report. It examines the likely pressures on the NHS over the forthcoming 10 to 25 years.

“A rising and ageing population, combined with an increase in people with multiple long-term health conditions, means pressures on the Welsh NHS and our social care system will intensify,” she said.

“As we consider the future, we must uphold the core principles upon which our NHS was founded. Simultaneously, we must recognise the impending challenges.

“We have to shift the system towards prevention and community-based health and social care. It’s crucial to ensure our services are utilised prudently. Every engagement with the system incurs a cost.

“However, adapting the NHS isn’t the sole focus. Lifestyle and economic disparities greatly affect health outcomes. Many severe conditions, like certain cancers and Type 2 diabetes, can be prevented. Hence, we all have a role in making healthier choices. Every sector of government and society can help address health disparities.”

The Minister emphasised that the report affirms the direction of the Welsh Government’s 10-year health strategy. Yet, in light of this new data, she will request a review of the initiatives in ‘A Healthier Wales’.

She commented, “The report underscores our emphasis on prevention, addressing health inequalities, and increasing community care. Given this new evidence, we must ensure our strategic actions are aligned.”

The Minister also encourages the public to voice their opinions on the future of health and social care services in Wales by participating in the dialogue initiated by the Bevan Commission.

Anyone can take part in the conversation here: https://bevancommission.org/programmes/a-conversation-with-the-public/

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