The INMO has warned that April was the worst month for hospital overcrowding since records began.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said some 10,229 admitted patients were forced to wait for a bed on trolleys or in wards last month – an 8% increase on the same month last year.
It also marks a 125% increase on the same month in 2006 – when the union began taking its record.
There were 106 children among those forced.
INMO General Secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha said the figures are "simply not acceptable."
“It is not possible for people to provide any level of care that they would be satisfied with in those environments,” she said.
“It has just simply been going on too long; it is not being addressed and at this point in time we wonder, again, how any management of the HSE or how the minister can stand over this.
“It is simply not acceptable.”
The worst-affected hospitals were:
- University Hospital Limerick: 1,206 patients
- Cork University Hospital: 826 patients
- University Hospital Galway: 683 patients
- South Tipperary General Hospital: 623 patients
- Tallaght University Hospital: 566 patients
Ms Ni Sheaghdha said the two main groups who are affected the most are those who depend on public health services and those who work in them.
She said the SláinteCare Report needs to be acted on without delay.
“We know what needs to be done; we know we have to prioritise it,” she said.
“We know it is unacceptable to continually look at an overcrowded situation that is not getting better, that in fact is getting worse and to constantly rely on the refrain of ‘oh we have the SláinteCare report’ – well we need to do more than just reference it, we need to implement it.”
The Fianna Fáil health spokesperson Stephen Donnelly said the situation is “not fair on anyone.”
"Given that it is April and not the height of the flu season it is particularly concerning that hospital overcrowding continues to break records,” he said.
“If the trend continues we can write 2019 off as marking no change in the Irish health service.”
“The Government is presiding over a service that is getting worse, not better, despite big increases in funding,” he said.
“Solutions have been offered, by me, and by clinicians – but they are not being acted on.
“At this point, it is simply inexcusable.”
He also warned that 52,348 bed days have been lost through delayed discharges in first three months of this year, “contributing to the widespread overcrowding across the hospital network.”