Six new treatment centres to be created across Scotland.
Six new elective treatment centres to carry out procedures like hip, knees and cataracts are to be built, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today.
The centres will allow people to be treated more quickly for planned surgery and the facilities will help the NHS meet increasing demand from a growing elderly population, taking pressure off unplanned and emergency treatment.
The new centres will be operated like the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank which specialises in elective treatment and treats people referred from Health Boards across Scotland.
Work will now begin to secure sites in Lothian, Grampian, Tayside and Highland heath boards to allow for new stand-alone facilities to be created. The Golden Jubilee will also be expanded to include a new centre.
Over £200 million will be invested in the new centres ahead of them becoming operational.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
"By 2037, the number of people in our population who are over 70 will increase by 50 per cent. The numbers over 75 will increase by 80 per cent.
"Those changing demographics will demand new ways of thinking and new ways of working right across our society - but especially in our NHS.
"Something I hear time and again is how a hip or knee replacement or a cataract operation has given people a new lease of life. But as more people live longer into old age, more and more of these operations will need to be done.
"If we don't act to prepare now for 10 and 20 years ahead, our NHS will be overwhelmed by the demand.
"So we will act - boldly and decisively.
"We are already integrating health and social care. And a few weeks ago, I set out our plans to transform primary care so that more people can be cared for in the community. That is vital - but must reshape our acute care system too.
"The Golden Jubilee hospital in Clydebank has been a huge success - specialising in elective procedures like hip, knees and cataracts and, in so doing, helping to reduce waiting times and take pressure off our emergency hospitals. We now intend to extend that model.
"I can announce today that we will invest £200 million to create a new network of elective treatment centres.
"We will extend the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank and we will develop new elective treatment centres at St John's in Livingston, at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary."
The six centres will be at: St John's in Livingston, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank.