The number of patients on trolleys at hospitals nationwide has dropped today - but the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) says the overcrowding situation remains "severe".
For the second day in a row, there were 760 people without a bed in Irish hospitals on Tuesday - more than the total bed capacity of any hospital in the State.
Today, 621 people are waiting for beds.
University Hospital Limerick remains the worst affected facility with 63 people on trolleys, followed by 46 at University Hospital Galway and and 43 at Cork University Hospital.
ON AIR NOW:
Ireland's trolley crisis continues today with knock-on affects for surgical patients nationwide.
We hear from the mother of 7 year old Tommy Kinsella whose heart surgery was cancelled at Crumlin Children's Hospital for the 8th time yesterday.#BKNT #TuneIn pic.twitter.com/ithTG7LxKP
— Newstalk Breakfast (@BreakfastNT) January 8, 2020
The INMO has written to the Health Minister Simon Harris, calling on him to declare a major incident at the worst-affected hospitals.
They also want immediate approval for all posts awaiting sign-off in nursing and midwifery across all acute hospitals and an infection control plan.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha suggested staff and patients are being put under "intolerable pressure".
She argued: "The trolley crisis is not a fact of life.
"There are simple, accepted solutions to fix it."
Ms Ní Sheaghdha explained: "We’ve made real progress in Beaumont and Drogheda hospitals, which were often the most overcrowded until recent years. This is down to planned additional recruitment and planned extra capacity.
"This model has to be adopted nationally."
Elective procedures have been cancelled at four hospitals because of the extent of the overcrowding.
These people in Cork told Newstalk Breakfast the Government needs to do more to manage the crisis.