2018 has seen the worst October on record for hospital overcrowding, according to eh Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).
The INMO Trolley Watch has found that 9,055 patients were forced to wait for a bed this month.
The worst affected hospital was University Hospital Limerick, with more than 1,045 patients on trolleys.
Five hospitals saw more than 500 patients on trolleys and chairs for beds around the country in the last 31 days.
They are University Hospital Waterford, Cork University Hospital, University Hospital Galway, Letterkenny University Hospital, and Mater University Hospital.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said: “Over 9,000 patients forced to wait on trolleys and it’s not even peak winter season. Figures like these do not adequately express the hardship endured by patients who find themselves in these circumstances.
“Our current health service simply does not have the capacity to cope. The government accept that we need additional beds, but we do not have a plan to tackle this daily problem.
“Opening extra beds requires extra nurses, but low pay means there is no immediate prospect of recruiting additional nurses or retaining current ones.”