The number of elderly people is increasing rapidly worldwide. However, no other country in the world other than China, has the same speed of change, both regarding real numbers and in percentage of population. As an effect, the prevalence of geriatric diseases increase; dementia, COPD, diabetes, cardio-vascular, incontinence, depression, KOL, osteoporosis, pressure ulcers, malnutrition, etc… This also influences small clinics, home care, preventive care and rehabilitation.
Capacity at large hospitals are costly and not suitable to handle less complicated clinical issues and problems; therefore, primary care must expand rapidly. Within primary care new concepts are being developed for preventive care, rehabilitation, infection management and IT solutions.
There is no time to wait for the education system to add more doctors and nurses. Efficiency and smart IT will be of importance and will support quality improvement. Further development of know-how and processes will be important as well.
Adjust for the new situation
The population pyramid has changed during last decades, e.g. because of the low average numbers of children per family, and people are moving to new locations because of urbanization. I.e. there is a need to adjust the healthcare system to adapt to the new situation.