There were 10,446 on hospital trolleys in hospitals around the country in February.
Figures compiled by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation show 23% more people on trolleys than February last year, when 8,515 people were on trolleys.
"The long-running trolley crisis has to be priority number one in the government talks," said INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha.
"Meanwhile qualified healthcare staff are queueing up to work, but hospitals are unable to hire them. We have asked the health spokespeople of all the major parties to lift the recruitment embargo, and whatever the make-up of the next government we will insist that these obstacles to safe staffing are removed immediately."
There are 488 patients waiting for beds this morning, with 363 in the emergency department and 125 in wards elsewhere in the hospital.