West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie has signed up to be an arthritis ‘champion’ for his constituency.
The Scottish Conservative has joined colleagues from across the UK in vowing to raise the profile of the condition.
His pledge is part of a national campaign by Arthritis Research UK which wants to ensure that arthritis is taken seriously by politicians.
The charity has said that, alongside the personal impact, musculoskeletal conditions have a huge effect on society. It amounts to the third largest area of NHS spending.
Mr Bowie has pledged to work towards making such conditions a public health priority, and ensuring people have timely access to health and care services and financial support.
He said: “I was more than happy to take on this role of arthritis champion for my constituency.
“Arthritis and related conditions affect more than 17million people across the UK. It has an enormous impact on NHS budgets and is the cause of a fifth of all working days lost across the country.”
The MP added: “I was shocked to learn that in NHS Grampian health board area, 44,229 people aged over 45 live with osteoarthritis of the knee, 26,685 people aged over 45 live with osteoarthritis of the hip, and 96.807 live with back pain.
“Too many people locally are suffering with daily pain, fatigue, and isolation. This is unacceptable.
“I hope that by taking up this pledge I can help raise awareness of the condition.”