This month has broken the record for hospital overcrowding in August, according to new figures released today by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
A staggering 7,911 admitted patients were forced to wait on chairs or trolleys across the state in August 2018.
This represents an increase of two percent on last year’s figures for the same month.
Of these patients, 619 were at University Hospital Galway – the second-worst in the country.
University Hospital Limerick took the top spot for most overcrowded hospital this month with a jaw-dropping 969 patients stuck waiting for care.
Closely following Galway was Cork University Hospital with 604 patients.
INMO general secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha commented: “Even though it was a mild month, patients and staff faced record overcrowding. Nearly 8,000 sick and injured people were forced to wait without a bed.
“The message from the frontline is clear: this all comes down to pay. The HSE simply cannot find enough nurses and midwives to work on these wages.
“It’s no coincidence that Limerick has had such a bad month, as they have over 70 unfilled nursing vacancies.
“Unless nurses and midwives get pay equality with similarly-qualified health professionals, vacancies will remain open and things will only get worse.”
The INMO plans to meet with the HSE and the Department of Health at the Workplace Relations Commission next week to discuss understaffing and overcrowding.
They intend to ask the HSE to present plans for dealing with the upcoming winter – when hospitals typically see an influx of patients – including which hospital services they will likely cut to meet extra demand.