Malcom Sarich is one of the more than 11,000 Tasmanians on a waiting list for elective surgery.
The 60-year-old was placed on Launceston General Hospital's inpatient endoscopy waiting list on June 10.
The procedure is needed ahead of further surgery to treat a hernia in Mr Sarich's chest - something given clinical priority as category 1.
However, Friday marked 30 days since Mr Sarich was placed on the waiting list.
Now, he claims to have been told it could be up to nine months before the endoscopy takes place.
"All this is for is so they can stick a camera down my throat see exactly what they are dealing with when they open me up," he said.
"I rang them [THS] on Wednesday, because I thought maybe I missed the mail or someone had pinched my [surgery confirmation] letter.
"But that's when I was informed it would be up to seven or nine months before I get seen.
"They told me 'yep you're on the list, but you're going to be waiting a while'."
Category 1 patients are considered urgent, with treatment recommended within 30 days.
According to the latest data from Tasmania's Health System Dashboard, as of March, there were 11,307 patients waiting for elective surgery - up almost 20 per cent since April last year.
Of these, 849 were category 1 and the average number of overdue days statewide was 96 - almost double the average from April.
Across all surgical categories and all hospitals, only 56 per cent of patients were admitted for surgery within the clinically recommended time frame, down from 60 per cent in April.
However, the data, which is updated every three months, mostly predates restrictions placed on elective surgery due to COVID-19.
From March 26, all non-urgent elective surgeries in Australia's public hospitals were suspended - with the exception of category 1 and the most urgent category 2. This was lifted around mid April, with surgeries in Tasmania to be gradually increased.
Health Minister Sarah Courtney said she acknowledged the many Tasmanians impacted by the forced elective surgery shutdown period.
"The Department of Health is working closely with the Statewide Surgical Committee to ensure that services continue to be increased in the safest possible way across the state," she said.
"The $15 million federal funding commitment we negotiated to bring forward will assist with increasing surgical volumes, and importantly category 1 surgeries and other emergency procedures have been maintained throughout Tasmania's response to COVID-19."
However, Labor health spokeswoman Sarah Lovell said elective surgery wait times were at record highs prior to coronavirus.
"The most recent set of figures - only about five days of that is during the period where there was any restrictions on surgery, because of COVID," she said.
"So we know the next quarter is when we are going to see the real significant impact. But COVID aside, the system hasn't been coping for a long time.
"My biggest concern is how they are going to catch up on the impact from COVID.
"But second and more importantly, what's the plan for the medium and long-term, in terms of equipping the system to deal with the numbers that need surgery now.
"Long-term, what's the plan for preventative health and earlier intervention, to stop people from ever needing surgery in the first place."
Mr Sarich receives an unemployment pension and is under an obligation to try and find work. A welder by trade, he says he will be unable to work until he has his surgery.
When he asked about the reason for the long wait for surgery, Mr Sarich said he was told it was because of COVID-19.
"It's ridiculous. We haven't had a case for two months," he said.
"And when it [COVID] all started, the government said they were going to send people into private hospitals, to alleviate this problem. But it's not happening.
"I don't have private health insurance, otherwise I would have had it done by now.
"There is probably people worse off than me who have no clue what's going on. I think the public deserves to know what is going on."
A Health Department spokesperson said it was working closely with clinical leaders to ensure services continue to be "gradually increased in the safest possible way across the state".
"We are doing so carefully, to ensure we maintain health system preparedness in the event of a second wave of COVID-19," the spokesperson said.
"Last financial year $5 million of Commonwealth funding was allocated to perform additional endoscopies, including $2.2 million to the LGH, to provide an additional 861 urgent procedures.
"While activity temporarily slowed due to COVID-19, this funding will continue to be used over coming months and will help provide more urgent colonoscopies.
In addition to this, the $15 million dollars federal funding commitment we negotiated to bring forward will assist with increasing surgical volumes and help meet demand for care."
Questions put to Ms Courtney about the government's long-term plan to reduce statewide demand for surgery were unanswered.