There has been a 95% increase in the last decade in the number of patients on trolleys in hospitals around the country, according to the latest figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation.
It said there were 91,147 admitted patients on trolleys or overcrowded wards in the first 11 months of this year.
That was 6% more than over the same period in 2016 and 95% more than the 53,142 patients on trolleys in the first 11 months of 2007.
On a more positive note, the latest INMO figures for the month of November showed a 7% reduction compared to November 2016 in the numbers of patients without a proper inpatient bed.
The hospitals with the highest number of patients on trolleys, in November were: University Hospital Limerick — 878; University Hospital Cork — 651; University Hospital Waterford — 624; and University Hospital Galway — 539.
INMO general secretary Liam Doran said the November reduction was welcome.
“However, the very significant increase in additional patients on inpatient wards, on trolleys or additional beds is most disturbing and suggests hospital management are increasingly repeating the mistakes of the past.
“Overcrowding wards has never solved the problem, of hospital overcrowding, and this will only be done through additional acute beds.”