MORE than 50 people are awaiting hospital beds in Cork University Hospital today, the highest level of overcrowding in the country.
The latest figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) show that 36 are waiting on trolleys in CUH, with a further 15 in wards. More than 400 are awaiting beds across Ireland.
The figures show that CUH’s level of overcrowding has more than doubled since last year when the hospital had 23 patients awaiting a bed.
The latest figures come after nurses and midwives in the INMO began voting on Monday on whether to go on strike, in a dispute about understaffing and safety in the health service.
The union said that low pay is making it impossible to recruit and retain enough nurses and midwives, which is risking patient safety, limiting hospital capacity, and contributing to overcrowding.
Voting will run until December 13.