Around 162,000 operations may have been cancelled last year because of NHS administration errors.
Conservative MP Grant Shapps has claimed the figure after extrapolating from information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
His estimates are based on figures from 55 NHS organisations, though not every trust responded to the information request.
"We are talking about things like patients' notes going missing, or the patient wasn't told that the surgery had been booked, or when it came to the surgery the theatre hadn't been booked," Mr Shapps told BBC One's 'Breakfast' programme.
"There is a whole range of different reasons, but actually 600 is just that crop of reasons as opposed to instruments that are dirty, or beds not available, or samples not available, so the total figure is over 1,000 a day," the MP claimed.
Mr Shapps blames the government's centralised target system, something he believes leaves hospitals unable to respond to the changing demands of their patients.
The Department of Health, however, has urged "caution" over the claims, arguing that data from all NHS trusts show cancellations are 20 per cent lower than four years ago.© Adfero Ltd
Private Hospital News : 16/10/2006