THERE ARE 59 patients on trolleys in the emergency department and wards at University Hospital Limerick this Thursday morning.
Trolley figures this week, provided by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, show that UHL is experiencing one of its worst weeks of overcrowding since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
There are 40 patients on trolleys in the emergency department and 19 in the wards.
There are more patients on trolleys in the emergency department alone than any other hospital in the country.
The INMO said that Covid-19 and overcrowding made for a "toxic combination" after Irish hospitals experienced its worst day of overcrowding since the pandemic began on Wednesday.
There are currently three confirmed Covid-19 cases in UHL, and seven suspected cases.
There are confirmed cases in its intensive care unit, but there are two suspected cases in its ICU.
Labour councillor Conor Sheehan said that a targeted plan and adequate funding is needed to deal with the trolley crisis at UHL.
"If they are routinely at 40-50 in August, I dread to think how high they will go in the height of the winter flu season," he said.
On Monday, there are 58 patients on trolleys, followed by 41 on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Unless action is taken soon, we will be facing into a winter of hell and horror at University Hospital Limerick. We need to see a properly funded plan to deal with the trolley crisis soon, this happens every year and is not a new issue and it is the least our health staff and patients deserve."