Over 12,000 patients were left waiting on trolleys during the first month of 2020, new figures have shown.
According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation's (INMO) 'Trolley Watch' figures for January 2020, a total of 12,024 admitted patients were left waiting on trolleys and chairs during the month.
This makes it the second worst month for overcrowding on record.
January 2020 also saw the highest daily figures ever recorded, with 760 patients left waiting on trolleys and chairs on both January 6 and 7.
Overall, the worst hit hospitals in January 2020 were:
-University Hospital Limerick (1,215)
-Cork University Hospital (1,107)
-University Hospital Galway (872).
The worst affected hospital in Dublin was the Mater Hospital (607), while the worst affected children's hospital was Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin (62).
The INMO called on political leaders to use the current election campaign to explain how they will fix this crisis.
"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," commented INMO general secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha.
She also called on members of the public who are concerned about the health service "to raise it as a priority with any canvassers who come to their door".
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