The NHS in Wales needs to "speed up the process" of treating people waiting over two years for hospital treatment, the health minister said.
Eluned Morgan said health boards need to prioritise the "longest waiters and they're not always doing that".
There are 59,350 people waiting over two years in Wales, although the number has fallen for a fifth month in a row.
The Welsh NHS Confederation, which represents NHS health organisations, has been asked to comment.
In Wales, there are 183,450 operations and procedures waiting more than a year.
Overall waits - from referral to treatment - have passed 750,000.
Scotland has 7,650 patients waiting more than two years, England has 2,646.
Asked on BBC Politics Wales why so many more people are waiting longer in Wales, Ms Morgan said: "Our health boards need to make sure that they're taking people from the longest waiters and they're not always doing that."
Source: BBC News, 23 October 2022
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