Ireland’s hospital wards are seeing record levels of overcrowding, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
New figures for May show 8,154 patients on trolleys, which is up almost 23% on last year.
The figures also confirm that overcrowding grew in both the greater Dublin and country areas, when compared to May 2016.
The hospitals showing the highest number of trolley figures included the Mater and Tallaght hospitals in Dublin and the Cork and Mercy hospitals together with Limerick, Galway, Kilkenny and Waterford hospitals.
- The hospitals with the highest numbers of patients on trolleys last month were:
- Galway (671),
- Limerick (627),
- The Mater (533).
INMO General Secretary Liam Doran said the Government is not doing enough.
He said: "The figures confirm yet again, that our health service remains far too small, to cater for demand, with this difficulty exacerbated by bed closures due to nursing staff shortages.
"Due to nursing staff shortages, we now have both acute, and long-term, beds closed, in many areas, ranging from Donegal to Waterford.
"The figures reaffirm the extent of the crisis, arising from the recruitment/retention difficulties, in nursing, which must be addressed, through pay related initiatives, as an absolute priority. Until the shortage of nurses, is addressed, both beds and services will remain curtailed and trolley numbers will continue to grow."