Scottish health boards are being given an extra £270 million to help meet "ambitious" new waiting times targets, it has been announced
Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon announced the additional funding as she told MSPs about plans to introduce a legally binding waiting time guarantee of no more than 12 weeks for surgery after diagnosis.
Ms Sturgeon said: "To help us deliver on this waiting time guarantee, the government has taken the decision to commit an additional £270 million over the next three years."
Waiting time guarantees form a key part of the Patients Rights Bill that the Scottish Government plans to introduce.
Ms Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament: "We propose a central part of a Patients Rights Bill will be a legally binding waiting time guarantee which is easily understood by patients and their families."
Ministers have already pledged to bring in a maximum waiting time guarantee of 18 weeks between GP referral and treatment for patients by 2011. The new target will stand alongside this commitment.