A health board has rescheduled a number of surgeries and appointments due to pressure placed on services by the pandemic.
NHS Western Isles said it made the “difficult decision” in a bid to prioritise those who are most unwell and require urgent care, including cancer patients.
Services affected include outpatient clinics and some planned surgeries.
Patients will be contacted individually to have their appointments rescheduled and have been asked not to attend emergency departments unless their condition is critical.
The decision is set to be reviewed weekly.
NHS Western Isles Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson said: “Pressure on our services at present is significant and current projections suggest that this demand will continue and increase further through the winter.
“It was therefore necessary to take action to protect our urgent, unplanned and cancer care services and ensure that those who are most unwell receive the services that they need.
“This was a reluctant decision but unfortunately necessary in the present circumstances.
“We will resume normal service delivery as soon as possible and would apologise sincerely to anyone that this difficult decision will affect.
“We know that this decision will come as a significant disappointment to some of our patients who are waiting for treatment or a procedure.
“What we can assure is that we will resume full service delivery as soon as we consider that it is safe to do so and this will be reviewed on a weekly basis.”
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