UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick has set the record for highest level of overcrowding in 2019 for a third time this Tuesday morning.
According to figures published by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, there were 76 patients being treated on trolleys at UHL.
This is one of the highest levels of daily overcrowding ever recorded since records began in 2006. The national record was broken by UHL on March 22, 2013 when there were 80 patients being treated on trolleys.
The second highest rate of overcrowding at UHL this year was 70 patients on February 26. The third highest was 69 patients in mid-February.
There were 35 more patients on trolleys at UHL than at Cork University Hospital, which had 41 patients on trolleys on Tuesday.
The third highest level of overcrowding was at University Hospital Galway, with 34 patients on trolleys.
Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan said this Tuesday's figures is "proof that the government’s efforts to resolve this crisis have been absolutely farcical.
“Minister Harris has failed to deal with the issues that are causing this emergency. The minister is clearly out of his depth.
“The government needs to work with unions to address the systemic problems in the health service and get patients off trolleys and into hospital beds," he stated.
This high level of overcrowding comes amid growing concern by Oireachtas members over a delay in the delivery of the 60-bed modular block at the Dooradoyle site.
Estimated to cost €19.5m, Minister for Health Simon Harris has assured his Fine Gael colleagues that the crucial project will be included in the HSE’s capital plan for 2019.
The HSE announced on March 1 that €2m has been allocated to carry out enabling works and has indicated that the project will be completed by June 2020.
Hospital management has yet to indicate when the 96-bed block will be built, though it is believed it will be delivered sometime in the 2020s.