NHS Tayside has described the cancellation of nearly 100 operations in December and January as a “last resort”.
Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives revealed the total for the two-month period was 94, including 16 scheduled procedures which were called off in a single day.
The Tayside figures emerged just days after Health Secretary Jeane Freeman admitted almost 100,000 operations have been cancelled across the country since the Scottish Government started to keep formal records three years ago.
Scottish Conservative MP for Angus, Kirstene Hair, said: “Health boards across the country are under huge pressure during the winter months, and some cancellations will be unavoidable.
“But the fact nearly 100 operations were put off in just eight weeks in Tayside is cause for concern and many of my constituents will have been affected.
“Across Scotland, there have been 100,000 procedures cancelled since the SNP government starting keeping records.
“That causes huge inconvenience for patients and their families who physically and mentally prepare themselves for such procedures.
“These latest figures all add to the mounting evidence that the SNP is simply not up to the job of running Scotland’s NHS and I am seeing that first hand through my mailbag here in Angus.”
An NHS Tayside spokeswoman said it closely monitors the number of elective operations deferred due to winter pressures.
She said: “The number of elective procedures deferred due to winter bed pressures during this period reduced by 94% from 182 in 2017/18 to 10 in 2018/19.
“Any decision to defer a procedure is always taken as a last resort.
“Our staff try their very best to minimise any disruption to our planned procedures as we appreciate that this is both upsetting and inconvenient for patients and their families.
“If a patient’s surgery is cancelled by us for any reason, we will reschedule as soon as possible.
“Delays to planned surgical procedures happen for a variety of reasons such as a procedure being deferred to a later date as a result of an emergency procedure taking precedence, unplanned staff absences, or restricted availability of beds.
“Some patients may no longer require or want surgery or may not be fit for surgery on the day of their operation.”
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the decision to cancel any procedure “is never taken lightly”.
She said: “Health boards ensure that cancellations are kept to a minimum and that any cancelled operation is rescheduled as soon as possible. We are clear that operations for those with the greatest clinical need, such as cancer patients, should not be cancelled.
“Today’s statistics show on average more than 900 procedures took place across Scotland’s hospital each day in February.
“The number of planned operations in February was up on the same month last year, and cancellations were down. Out of a total of 27,741 operations planned, 2.1% were cancelled for capacity reason.
“Our Waiting Times Improvement Plan, backed with more than £850 million of funding, will help to increase capacity and efficiency, in turn helping to reduce the number of cancellations.”