A Buchan MSP has raised concerns over NHS Grampian waiting times figures with the First Minister and argued that the “people of the north-east deserve better”.
Official figures showed that more than 9,000 people have waited longer than the SNP’s target of 12 weeks for inpatient or day care admissions.
This is more than eight times the number of cases on the health board’s books when the official records begain in 2013 - with figures rising every year.
At First Minister’s Questions last week, Peter Chapman challenged Nicola Sturgeon to explain the statistics.
The north-east region MSP added that NHS Grampian was the ‘worst funded’ health board in Scotland this year.
Mr Chapman said: “Does the First Minister agree with me that the people of the north-east deserve much better?”
In response Ms Sturgeon said that waiting times ‘were not as good as patients deserve them to be’.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Chapman said: “I am please that the First Minister has at least acknowledged that people in the north-east desere beter than this.
“However, there was precious little in the way of a plan to address the problems that have been years in the making. NHS Grampian is routinely underfunded by this SNP Government.
“Based on its own NRAC formula for handing out cash, the government has consistently given the North East less than its due.
“The result is fewer staff having to work harder, and more people having to wait longer.
“No-one should have to endure delays of more than 12 weeks for surgery. Quite simply, the north-east is not getting a fair deal from Nicola Stuargeon’s SNP - and that needs to change.”