The amount spent by NHS Lothian on private treatment for inpatients has been reduced significantly over the last five years.
However, this has now caused waiting times for diagnostic treatments, such as endoscopy, to increase dramatically with 65 per cent of patients now waiting over the six week target, compared to only four per cent in March 2014.
The number of patients on the waiting list for a urology operation at the Edinburgh Western General is now 933 patients.
In February this year it was revealed that 512 patients had been waiting for 100 days for orthopaedic treatments in NHS Lothian, with nine of those waiting more than a year for treatment.
The Scottish Conservatives are calling on the health secretary to utilise the private sector further for the benefit of patients waiting in pain.
Scottish Conservative health spokesperson, Miles Briggs, said: “Waiting times for patients in NHS Lothian have increased dramatically over the last four years, especially for specialities corresponding with the reduction in private sector spending.
“The amount that NHS Lothian is spending on private treatments has been severely reduced by £14m, but capacity has not been increased. It is clear that private treatment capacity was assisting NHS Lothian but now waiting times have reached record lengths, with the amount spent on private treatment being slashed.
“Twelve years of SNP mismanagement of our NHS has dismally failed patients and families.”