Figures released today by Public Health Scotland show that the region has among the worst performing A&E departments in Scotland, with only 71.9% of patients seen within the four-hour target.
The target, set by the Scottish Government, is 95%.
But NHS Fife bosses said the frontline department was doing all it could to cope in the face of unprecedented pressure with more people turning up than they would normally see at the height of winter.
Willie Rennie, MSP for North East Fife said only five other health boards were seeing fewer people on time.
He said: “These numbers are deeply troubling, the pressure on our local staff and A&E departments is still growing and patients are not getting the care they need. This level of strain on our health care services cannot be sustained.”Mr Rennie said there was “a real danger” to the wider health service and the impact on morale and resource, adding: “Healthcare staff have faced a gruelling two years and the situation hasn't improved as the workload piles up there aren’t enough people to cope.”
Claire Dobson, NHS Fife director of acute services, said said hospitals were under “considerable strain” as more people needed in-patient treatment.
She added: “Staff working in our emergency department, like elsewhere in our hospitals, are working incredibly hard, and under significant pressure, to continue to provide patients with the best possible standard of care.
This summer we have seen presentations far exceed what we would expect at this time of year - and even well beyond what we would see during the busy winter months.
“This comes at a time when our hospitals are already under considerable strain due to a sustained increase in the number of patients requiring inpatient care.
"Despite these unprecedented pressures, staff in our emergency department continue to provide good quality care, with the vast majority of patients still seen within the 4-hour standard. Crucially, patients are triaged to ensure those who require the most urgent treatment are seen quickly.”