The Scottish Government is being encouraged to act to spare Moray residents with chronic pain conditions from having to travel to Aberdeen for treatment and therapy.
Highlands and Islands MSP Douglas Ross met local sufferers yesterday, and learned of the agonising trips they are forced to endure for appointments with specialists.
Mr Ross has now lodged parliamentary questions with Holyrood to demand that health chiefs investigate whether they can be treated at hospitals closer to home.
Mr Ross said: “There is a lot to do to ensure those with chronic pain get the diagnosis, treatment and support they need.
“There is a real frustration amongst local people that they still have to travel to Aberdeen for treatment or therapies.
“That journey is bad enough for those in good health, so you can imagine what it must be like in chronic pain.”
A group of Moray residents, whose lives are blighted by illnesses which cause them constant discomfort, banded together last year to fight for a better local service.
The Affa Sair campaigners achieved one of their main aims in March, when a pain clinic was established at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin.
However, medics there are only able to make an initial diagnosis, and patients are then directed to Aberdeen for further treatment.
Mr Ross, who met Affa Sair founders Chris Bridgeford and Jenni Jeynes, said he would make it his mission to ensure that a fuller local service was available.
He also vowed to press Malcolm Wright, chief executive of NHS Grampian, to address concerns that Moray patients have been faced with unacceptable delays for follow-up appointments.