Patients are facing unreasonably long delays on hospital waiting lists, a Northland District Health Board member says.

About 1900 patients were waiting longer than six months for first-time surgical assessment and 1200 patients were waiting longer than six months for surgery, orthopaedic surgeon Bill Sanderson said at a board meeting this week.

"I really think this is unreasonable and I don't think, with those sorts of figures, that we are providing a satisfactory service," he said.

Herald Feature: Hospitals