More NHS Grampian patients will be offered operations at an Angus hospital to cut waiting times.
Patients travelling to Stracathro Hospital will also be offered free transport on buses running several times a day.
The health board said the move will lead to many patients facing shorter waits for elective operations.
Paul Bachoo, medical director for acute care, said: “Previously, patients have been offered elective surgeries at Stracathro as an option to be seen more quickly.
“We are now building on this established positive relationship with the hospital and its staff by further utilising the link we have and ensuring more patients benefit as a result.
“Where it is clinically appropriate, patients will now be routinely given appointments at Stracathro and offered free return transport, in the form of a bus from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) on the day of their procedure.
“They are not obliged to use the transport and can make their own arrangements if they wish.
“Feedback from Grampian patients who have had their procedures carried out at Stracathro is very positive.”
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NHS Grampian patients are already being treated at the facility, near Brechin, mainly as day cases, but with some overnight stays.
However, more people undergoing surgery for less serious conditions will now be offered operations at the hospital.
Mr Bachoo said: “The move means patients are far less likely to experience postponements to their procedures as emergency cases, which can disrupt surgery timetables, are not dealt with at Stracathro.
“Likewise, at ARI, those with critical conditions requiring urgent complex surgery will be more able to receive this in a timely manner as a result.”
Buses will run between the two hospitals on weekdays from September 30.
Mr Bachoo said the recently opened AWPR would make it easier for patients travelling to Stracathro from all areas across Grampian.
North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said: “Anything the NHS do to reduce waiting times for patients in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire has to be welcomed.
“Many people will be more comfortable if they have to travel to Stracathro Hospital rather than to towns and cities further away.”
Councillor Sarah Duncan, chairwoman of the Aberdeen City IJB, said: “The less time patients have to wait for surgery the better, for their quality of life and for their ability to properly rehabilitate and get back to all their activities which will help keep them healthy and active.”