Patients in the north-east are waiting for close to a year for knee surgery, new figures have shown.
Official NHS statistics for 2016/17 have revealed that the average wait for knee replacement operations in Grampian is 89 days, which is more than three months.
However, some people are spending as many as 342 days on the waiting list before being admitted.
The figures show an increase from 289 days the previous year, 2015/16. The average has also risen from 86 days in the last 12 months.
Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West, Alexander Burnett, has been contacted constituents about the problems at NHS Grampian.
Some patients are paying thousands of pounds to go private, while others are forced to endure a painful wait.
Mr Burnett said: “These figures once again show that the patient care is suffering due to staffing problems in our NHS.
“Our surgeons are simply overloaded with work, with anecdotal evidence suggesting some are still working through the 2016 waiting list, let alone those referred in 2017.
“For patients awaiting knee surgery, this is simply not good enough. Constituents have contacted me complaining that they are kept waiting in terrible pain.
“They are telling me that they find it extremely difficult for anyone to give a reliable date as to when they will be treated, which is incredibly frustrating.
“This is a failure in the system that must be laid at the door of the SNP government in Edinburgh, which has had responsibility for our NHS for the last ten years.
“These problems strongly suggest a lack of forward planning and mismanagement of our NHS.”