The Scottish Government said in 2014 that four major trauma centres in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow would be operational from 2016.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon admitted yesterday that the “scale and complexity” of the changes meant full implementation would “take at least three years”.
She has announced an extra £5 million in 2017 to speed up the development of the network, which it is estimated will benefit about 6000 seriously-injured patients each year.
Speaking at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, Ms Sturgeon said: “Given the scale and complexity of the changes required to deliver the network, we should need to recognise it will take at least three years to fully implement it.”
Labour health spokesman Anas Sarwar said: “Serious questions need to be asked about how this delay came about.”