Outrage as 29,000 operations cancelled in July alone
The level of cancelled operations in Northern Ireland is "shocking", the Assembly's health committee chair has said.
Sinn Fein MLA Maeve McLoughlin revealed that there were 29,189 cancelled outpatient operations in July alone.
"This amount of cancellations is not acceptable and clearly the department needs to rectify the situation," the Foyle MLA said.
Her words come after the Belfast Telegraph exclusively revealed in September that planned operations were being cancelled at the last moment at Musgrave Park Hospital, the province's leading specialist orthopedic centre.
Then the cancellations were blamed on a lack of nurses to provide post-operative care, due to an "unusually high level of sickness".
As the largest health trust in the province, Belfast Trust had 12,000 operations cancelled in July out of the 29,000 total.
But a Trust spokeswoman stressed that more than half of these cancellations, 6,842, were caused by patients.
She added: "The Trust is working hard to reduce the rate of hospital cancellations."