Eluned Morgan calls on people to help the NHS as new report warns of greater strain on services

Doctors and nurses working at a NHS hospital.
According to the report, the number of people living with four or more long-term conditions could double. Credit: PA Images

An 'ageing' and 'sicker' population is expected to place the NHS in Wales under great strain, according to a new report.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan is calling on everyone to play their part to ease the pressure on Wales' health and social care system.

It comes after the release of the Chief Scientific Adviser's health report, which looked at the likely pressures facing the NHS in the next 10 to 25 years.

According to the report, nearly 20% of the population will be 70 and over within the next 15 years.

It also revealed that more than 20% of people are expected to have diabetes and the number of people with four or more long-term conditions, could double.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan MS said these factors will mean "that pressures on the Welsh NHS and our social care system will keep rising."

In July, when the NHS marked its 75th birthday, Eluned Morgan told ITV News we may need to pay more to use its services.

Ms Morgan also emphasised the importance of understanding how to use the NHS and emergency services.

She said: “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."

Health Minister Eluned Morgan is calling on everyone to play their part in the future of Wales' health and social care system. Credit: PA

Lowri Griffiths, Director of Support, Policy and Insight at the charity Tenovus Cancer Care, said if the report is to be accurate, it will have a massive impact on the demand for third-sector charities like hers.

Ms Griffiths said: "We can pick up that support element a little bit better to give them [NHS] more time to focus on some more complex cases that they might be dealing with.

"As an organisation we're anticipating having much more demand for our services and we're seeing that in the last 12 to 18 months as the system recovers following covid so we need to work together."

The Health 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'.

She said: “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.”

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