The demands for healthcare and the circumstances in which it will be delivered will be radically different in future years.
Over the next 10 years the proportion of over 75s in Scotland’s population – who tend to be the highest users of healthcare services – will increase by over 25 per cent. By 2033 the number of people over 75 is likely to have increased by almost 60 per cent.
There will be a continuing shift in the pattern of disease towards long term conditions, particularly with growing numbers of older people with multiple conditions and complex needs such as dementia. Scottish public expenditure is expected to fall in real terms while global pressures on health spending will increase.
Scotland recognises that the demands for healthcare, and the way it will be delivered, will be radically different in future years. Scotland’s public health record, a changing demography and a more challenging economic environment, are just some of the most immediate challenges faced.