Nearly 11,000 people in Ayrshire and Arran are waiting on cancer diagnostic tests, new figures show.
According to Public Health Scotland, 10,934 patients were waiting to be seen as of December 2021.
That figure represents a 42 per cent increase in numbers over the last two years.
And the national picture shows that over 140,000 patients across Scotland are waiting to be seen for the eight key diagnostic tests, which includes the likes of upper endoscopy, lower endoscopy, CT scans, MRI scans, barium studies and non-obstetric ultrasounds.
South Scotland Conservative MSP, Sharon Dowey, said: “The backlog of key diagnostic tests that has grown during the pandemic in NHS Ayrshire & Arran has now completely spiraled out of control and that is deeply concerning, as this is creating a dangerous bottleneck in the NHS.
“Patients are not being treated anywhere near quickly enough in NHS Ayrshire & Arran and cancers are at real risk of going undetected.
“These delays for diagnostic tests only add to the suffering of patients with underlying health problems. This is completely unacceptable. Early detection plays a key role in any treatment of cancer.”
South Scotland Labor MSP Carol Mochan said: “These are tremendously concerning figures.