Last week estimates forecast Scotland’s population would rise by 7% to 5.54 million by 2033, according to the General Register Office.
Dr Dean Marshall, chairman of GPC Scotland, said: ‘At present there is no requirement for planning departments to consider the impact of new housing developments on local health services, we believe that it would be common sense to include this as part of the planning process.’
Growth in population is likely to be unevenly spread in Scotland. Areas such as East Lothian are expected to grow by 33% and Perth and Kinross by 27%.
Dr Brian Keighley, BMA Scotland chairman, said: ‘The BMA calls on the Scottish government to introduce health impact assessments for all government policy to ensure that health is taken into account by all ministerial departments and portfolios. This is a practical measure that could help to close the health inequalities gap.’