A nursing union is calling for private hospitals to be utilised and provide extra bed capacity to help tackle hospital overcrowding.
During the past month, there were over 8,300 patients on hospital trolleys across the country - a 110% increase on the November trolley figures for last year.
The Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation says we need an increase in bed capacity, and the public and private healthcare systems need to act as one.
The INMO says the public service is under too much pressure to be expected to shoulder the entire burden of the Covid pandemic, and it's time for private hospitals to step up and be fully involved in this public health emergency.
With trolley numbers continuing to rise, and new variants entering the country, the INMO says nurses are exhausted before Winter even begins.