Plans to create a centre of excellence for all heart and lung operations at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank have been approved.
The Golden Jubilee, which was bought from the private sector
It means all patients in the west of Scotland who have heart or lung problems could eventually be treated at the hospital.
Greater Glasgow and Lanarkshire health boards said they made the decision following consultation.
The Scottish Executive will now consider the proposals.
The hospital, which was bought from the private sector by the executive for £37m, is currently used to cut waiting times for some types of heart surgery and orthopaedic operations.
It was originally planned to deliver the specialist heart and lung surgery unit at Gartnavel General Hospital in 2012 at the earliest.
Services from Western Infirmary, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, and Hairmyres Hospital, could now be transferred to Golden Jubilee National Hospital six years ahead of schedule.
The Golden Jubilee's medical director Dr Ken Ferguson described the combination of expertise from three sites into one state-of-the-art NHS hospital as an exciting proposal.
"We are now another step closer to, not only offering patients in the west of Scotland faster treatment, but also offering this treatment at a dedicated hospital using the latest equipment and diagnostic techniques available," he said.
NHS Greater Glasgow will now carry out a review of interventional cardiology over the coming months to examine whether it should also transfer to Golden Jubilee.
Tom Divers, NHS Greater Glasgow's chief executive, said: "The question for debate was how much interventional cardiology should go to Golden Jubilee and how much should be retained in Glasgow.
"The cardiologists have told us that they believe the whole service should transfer.
"We now need to take a close look at this and how it would affect acute services in Glasgow."