Staff shortages forced the Scottish Ambulance Service to pay record amounts in overtime costs to paramedics last year.
A total of £6.3million was given to employees to get them to work extra shifts.
The figure, which is the highest in the last five years, represented an increase of £670,000 compared to 2016.
In 2017 a staggering £11.8million was spent by the organisation in overtime when support staff, managers and technicians are taken into account: a sum which represents £32,000 every day.
The rising figures have emerged as the service finds itself dealing with more pressure and an ageing population.
The figures were obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Conservatives.
The party’s health spokeswoman Annie Wells said yesterday it was “not ideal” to be relying on overtime.
She said: “The fact more than £6million was spent on overtime just for paramedics last year goes to show just how short-staffed the organisation must be.
“Many staff will be willing to do these additional shifts, but from a health and safety perspective, it is not ideal to be relying on this so heavily.
“It is welcome that that the Scottish Ambulance Service is now training so many extra paramedics. But clearly, years of under-funding and shambolic workforce planning by the SNP government has contributed to this current unacceptable situation.”
Sickness among employees is higher than the national average and paramedics have confirmed they have been plagued by anti-social behaviour when in the midst of dealing with 999 calls.
This summer alone, a total of 2500 addresses across Scotland were “red-flagged” which means ambulance staff are forbidden from attending them without a police presence.
A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said the organisation was in the process of training 100 more paramedics over the next five years.
He added that this bolstering of resources was designed “to ensure we can continue to provide safe, effective care.”