More than 22,000 people across Donegal are now awaiting procedures at Letterkenny University.
And more than 700 of these people have been waiting for their procedures for more than 4 years.
The figures were revealed today to County Councillor Ciaran Brogan at the Regional Health Forum online meeting.
Of these awaiting surgery a total of 16,723 are outpatients while the balance, a further 5,401 are day cases and inpatients.
Chief officer of the HSE, John Hayes admitted said it was a trying time for hospitals across the entire country.
He said “Letterkenny University Hospital, along with all other hospitals in the country, is facing a number of challenges in relation to waiting lists, bed capacity, increased numbers of people attending the Emergency Department, staff recruitment and this is being exacerbated by the ongoing number of patients who need to be treated for COVID-19 in the hospital and in the ICU.”
Councillor Gerry Crawford was told earlier in the meeting that the situation was not helped by the forced cancellations of hundreds of procedures.
These included more than 570 outpatient clinics which had to be cancelled last year.
Councillor Brogan was told that LUH was also using private hospitals to increase its procedure capacity under the National Treatment Purchase Fund.
Councillor Brogan expressed his surprise at the figures and urged the HSE to look at all options to reduce the waiting lists?
“We need to get more support into the primary care system,” he suggested.