The Health Minister Leo Varadkar says he expects to eliminate those waiting for a long time for in-patient and day case procedures by the end of the year.
However, he admits the trolley crisis in Emergency Departments is compounding the problem.
At the end of October last year almost 60,000 people were waiting for elective surgery and Minister Varadkar says the numbers will go up further.
He has told the Dáil that he has a plan to reduce those waiting a long time for surgery by the end of the year, but that it is going to get worse before it gets better.
Mr Varadkar said: "The figures for November, which will come out tomorrow, will show that they are rising again and they will continue to rise for a number of months.
"Not least because we've had to cancel so much elective surgery this month.
"I agree it's not a solution, but it is a necessary response to the overcrowding that we are now facing in emergency departments."