A total of 549 patients were awaiting beds throughout Ireland's hospital system at 8am on Thursday morning, according to the INMO's latest Trolley Watch figures.
It is the first time since Friday that number of patients waiting for beds is under 600.
University Hospital Limerick (UHL) was the worst affected, with 77 people waiting on trolleys. Cork University Hospital was the second most overcrowded with a total of 73 people waiting for trolleys.
It comes as the UL Hospitals Group (ULHG) said the decision to cancel day surgeries at Ennis Hospital in Co Clare was “necessary in the interests of patient safety”, with Ennis forced to provide surge capacity for University Hospital Limerick, the Midwest region's main hospital.
The ULHG urged non-urgent patients “to consider all available healthcare options to avoid long waits for assessment”.
On Tuesday there were 96 patients waiting on trolleys in UHL, which is regularly the most overcrowded hospital in the country.
The hospital’s €24 million Emergency Department (ED) opened in 2017 to cater for up to 170 patients a day, however, ULHG said “a total of 246 patients presented to the Emergency Department yesterday [Monday], following a busy weekend”.
“Unfortunately, we have had to cancel day surgery at Ennis Hospital today [Tuesday] in order to create additional capacity for medical patients, and impacted patients are being contacted directly by the hospital. We apologise to any patient affected, and will work to ensure they are rescheduled at the earliest opportunity,” ULHG said in a statement.