Health secretary Alex Neil said health boards had been given £9million this year to get ready for the expected annual rise in patient num-bers, up from the £3m they received last year.
Mr Neil said it was part of a £50m initiative over three years to help cope with unscheduled care, which always increases over the winter, with more viruses and cold weather related conditions.
At a summit of health board bosses, Mr Neil said the key to improving winter preparedness was to improve care all year round.
A range of new ideas are being put in place across the country and the cash used to recruit extra staff.
However the British Medical Association in Scotland said some of the cash was not enough to meet the scale of the challenge as there was no flexibility with wards already at full capacity.
Mr Neil said: "Our health service reviews its performance each winter, with planning under way before most people think about their summer holidays.
"Last winter saw increased pressures including an early start to the norovirus season, an increase in respiratory illnesses, and a rise in the number of people attending A&E in the peak of winter. We recognise that there are areas where we need to improve. That is why this year we are focusing on improving emergency care all year round.
"This will ensure we have the most appropriate systems in place to cope with ageing population and the pressures that winter brings."
The BMA in Scotland welcomed the year-round improvement approach but said £9m is insufficient.
Dr Charles Saunders, deputy chairman of the BMA, said: "It is vital that hospital and primary care services have the flexibility to manage sharp rises in demand, particularly from elderly patients.
"The problem is that many NHS services are already working at full capacity and there is little scope for flexibility. While we welcome today's announcement of £9m for winter planning this year it is simply not enough.
"Divided among 14 health boards, the resource available locally will not be sufficient to make a significant difference.
"Creating consultant posts is a welcome measure, but if there are no doctors to fill these positions, it is simply an empty promise.
"This is a sticking plaster that will do little to stem the tide of demand that a harsh winter could create."
Mr Neil also said it is essential people know some illnesses don't need a visit to hospital and NHS 24, a GP or pharmacist may be more suitable in some cases.