Chronic pain campaigners in the north-east have called for a “change of attitude” from the Scottish Government to tackle an appointment backlog.
They have accused officials and politicians of showing a “lack of care, respect and compassion” for those suffering.
It was revealed last month that NHS Grampian patients face the longest waits for relief in the country.
More than four-in-10 wait longer than the health service’s 18-week target for their first appointment.
Campaign group Affa Sair, which was 470 members, held talks with government officials in October to press for improvements, with a commitment that more talks would be held.
More than three months after the discussion with the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group, however, a further meeting is yet to be held.
Now Chris Bridgeford, chairman of Affa Sair, who has himself suffered chronic pain for 40 years, has hit out at the delay and called for the issue to be a more urgent priority.
He said: “With chronic pain affecting a fifth of people in Scotland, the lack of care, respect and compassion by the Scottish Government is a national disgrace.
“The government says it is providing the money and I believe that – but where it goes at the end of the day, goodness knows.
“There is a distinct lack of action and meanwhile it’s getting worse.
“The World Health Organisation has estimated that one-in-five people suffer from it.
“It’s not taken seriously and there needs to be a change of attitude.”
Mr Bridgeford, who lives in Forres, is eager to see improvements in Moray to reduce the need for painful journeys to Aberdeen.
Statistics from NHS Scotland have revealed that between July and September last year, 44% of chronic pain patients in the Grampian area had to wait beyond the 18-week target for an initial appointment.
The figures do not include repeat appointments for returning patients, which are understood to be blighted by even longer waits.
NHS Grampian has had a successful bid for funding to relaunch its pain management programme, which will lead to additional psychology and physiotherapy staff to provide relief.
A Scottish Government spokesman said £108 million had been made available to health boards across the country last year to reduce waiting times, including in chronic pain services.
He added: “Living with chronic pain can be incredibly difficult for those affected and we are determined to improve services.
“There are areas in Scotland where everyone referred to a pain clinic for their first treatment appointment is seen within the 18-week standard.
“We know there is room for improvement and we will continue to work with NHS boards to improve performance.”