Health Minister, Eluned Morgan, is calling on everyone to play their part in the future of Wales’ health and social care system, as a new report shows an ageing and sicker population will put it under greater strain.
Within the next 15 years almost 20% of the population will be 70 and over, 22% more people are expected to have diabetes and the number of people with four or more long-term conditions could double.
In the Senedd today (10 October) the Health Minister will respond to the Chief Scientific Adviser for Health’s report looking at the likely pressures on the NHS over the next 10 to 25 years.
A growing and ageing population along with increasing numbers of people with multiple long term health conditions mean that pressures on the Welsh NHS and our social care system will keep rising, she said.
As we look towards the future, we must protect the fundamental principles upon which our NHS was created whilst understanding that we will all need to rise to the challenges that lie ahead.
We must continue to rebalance the system towards prevention and community-based health and social care, as well as making sure our services are used wisely, recognising that, every time we use the system, there is a cost.
But this isn’t just about how the NHS adapts, lifestyle and economic inequalities are major determinants for health. Many serious conditions, including some cancers and Type 2 diabetes, are preventable so we can all play our part by making healthier choices. While all parts of government and society can contribute to tackling health inequalities.
The Minister added that while the report demonstrates the vision in the Welsh Government’s 10-year health strategy remains correct, she will be asking for a review of the actions in A Healthier Wales.
This report shows our focus on prevention, addressing health inequalities and more care in the community is right, but in light of this new evidence now is the time to make sure the actions in our plan are on the right track.
The Minister also urged people to have their say in the future of health and social care services in Wales by taking part in the public conversation launched by the Bevan Commission.