Population a strain on NHS

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A GROWTH in population over the next decade means health services will have to deal with the equivalent of a new town the size of Livingston.

NHS Lothian said it expected the headcount to swell by an extra 65,000 people, the same as the West Lothian town.

The population rise is being put down to an increasing birth rate, more people living longer and the Lothians becoming a more popular place to live.

A burgeoning elderly demographic will also intensify the pressure on hospitals, with conditions like dementia expected to become more prevalent in the future.