UHG is the third most overcrowded public hospital in Ireland again today with 47 patients on trolleys or in over packed wards.
There are a further 22 patients without a proper bed at Portiuncula as the Ballinasloe hospital continues to have an extremely busy season.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says that a new record has been set for overcrowding today with 760 patients waiting for a bed, beating a previous record of 714 on March 12 of 2018.
The worst affected hospital today is UH Limerick according to the INMO’s daily Trolley/Ward Watch with 91 patients without a bed, staggering even by its standards, and beating its previous record of 85 people.
That’s followed by 56 people at Cork UH, 47 at University Hospital Galway, and 40 at South Tipperary.
The INMO is calling for a major incident protocol to be adopted across the country, as was done in March 2018.
This would likely see all non-emergency admissions stopped, electives cancelled, and extra bed capacity sourced from the private and public sectors.
The union is also calling for an infection control plan due to the additional risks posed in highly overcrowded environments.
“Ireland’s beleaguered health service continues to break records in the worst possible way,” said INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha.
“Our members are working in impossible conditions to provide the best care they can.”
“The excuse that this is all down to the flu simply doesn’t hold,” Phíl Ní Sheaghdha said.
“There are always extra patients in winter, but we simply do not get the extra capacity to cope. This is entirely predictable, yet we seemingly fail to deal with it every year.”
Phil Ní Sheaghdha also reiterated her call for the HSE’s “counterproductive” hiring freeze to be scrapped, claiming it has left the health service “understaffed and thus overcrowded”.