Huge waiting lists have left patients questioning whether their lives are worth living, a surgeon has warned.
Paul Williams, an orthopaedic surgeon at Neath Port Talbot Hospital, dubbed the effect of long delays on mental and physical health "horrific".
A health think-tank said waiting times were the biggest challenge the NHS in Wales has ever faced. The Welsh government said it wanted to "radically transform" how healthcare was delivered.
Mr Williams said: "To be living with pain from an arthritic joint is terrible.
"We sent out a questionnaire recently and many of the patients have actually replied that they're questioning if their life is worth living because of the pain they're in."
The latest figures for the Welsh NHS showed another record high for those waiting for hospital treatment.
The number of patients waiting more than 36 weeks has grown from 25,634 in February 2020 to 243,674 by August 2021. The longest waits included 56,279 people who needed orthopaedic or trauma treatment.
Source: BBC News, 3 November 2021
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