It may take seven years to get NHS Wales waiting lists of 700,000 back to 2020 levels, Wales' auditor general has said.
The number of patients waiting for non-urgent treatment has doubled since February 2020, just prior to the Covid pandemic.
They include Patient Michael Assender, 74, who has spent two years on a waiting list with severe back pain. After struggling with his back, Mr Assender, from Cwmbran, Torfaen, paid £1,500 for a private scan, which revealed he had two slipped discs.
"At the moment I'm coping pretty well, taking pills for the pain and trying to stay active,"