UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick had the worst level of overcrowding in the country in January, with more than 1,200 patients on trolleys, new figures reveal.
According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, there were 1,215 patients on trolleys last month.
This was the highest level of overcrowding for any January since records began in 2006.
This month's figures also mark a 25% increase on overcrowding levels in January 2019 when there were 970 patients on trolleys.
The 2019 figures had been a marginal reduction of 43 patients in comparison to January 2018.
The second highest level of overcrowding in the country was Cork University Hospital with 1,107 patients on trolleys, followed by Galway University Hospital with 872 patients on trolleys.
INMO general secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha said the solutions to the crisis is not "rocket science".
“To show real leadership on health, political leaders need to set out how they will grow capacity, recruit more staff, and really kickstart the Sláintecare reforms.
“It’s not rocket science: we know how to fix the health service. The plan is there. All we need is the investment and political will to back up manifesto promises. If members of the public are concerned about the health service, I’d ask them to raise it as a priority with any canvassers who come to their door.”
The lowest rate of overcrowding for any January at UHL was in 2008 when there were just 118 patients on trolleys.
Plans are in place to deliver a 60-bed block at University Hospital Limerick, which is expected to fully fitted out by the end of 2020. However, general election candidates have raised questions over its opening date, with concerns over staffing levels.
The design stage for the 96-bed block is underway, but there is no estimated time of delivery.