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As a central player in the public health system, the HUG must be prepared to adapt to population changes and anticipate their consequences. The population increase has an effect on the demand for care. From more acute somatic treatment - particularly in the oncology field - to more outpatient treatment, as well as more interventional medicine and the development of new treatments for all ages of life, there are many very complex issues that have to be addressed as part of requirements planning.
The population is not only growing; it is ageing too. Longer life expectancy means an increase in chronic diseases, long-term ailments, comorbidities and dependency. It is leading to a rise in multidisciplinary treatments, and a shift from primarily hospital-based care to treatments provided across a coordinated network. It has also led to curative approaches being complemented by preventive or palliative care, and early rehabilitation and physiotherapy being set up.
For its part, globalisation has created new patient profiles; they are more mobile, sometimes vulnerable, and face new health risks, as well as a rise in public interest assignments, and an increase in demand for care. All these parameters mean that we can anticipate an increase in acute care patients of over 5% per year, and more than 15% in chronic care by 2020.