The HSE has been defending its record on operation cancellations, following the release of new figures obtained by Fine Gael.
They show that almost 9,000 procedures have been called off in the first half of the year - a rise of 27%.
Fine Gael says the statistics are proof of gridlock in our hospital system.
But the health authority says the rise in cancellations needs to be put in the context of an overall increase in activity in Irish hospitals.
Spokesperson Fionnuala Duffy, from the National Hospitals Office, said attempts are always made to reschedule the operations promptly.