Significant overcrowding problems at South Tipp General Hospital have led management to urge people to only attend in the case of a genuine emergency.
Tipperary’s main hospital was operating on full capacity protocol for much of 2017.
With significant numbers presenting to the Emergency Department at South Tipp General in recent days management have asked patients to use a GP or the Caredoc out of hour’s service where possible.
Staff at the Clonmel hospital are working to prioritise the discharge of patients as soon as possible where appropriate.
It comes as figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation show a slight drop in the number of patients forced to wait on trolleys at South Tipp General in 2017.
A total of 5,249 people were left without a bed last year – down 150 on 2016.
University Hospital Limerick – which provides Emergency Department cover for North Tipp, Limerick and Clare – recorded the highest annual number of just under 8,900 during the year.
This was an increase of nearly 800 on the previous year.
Overall, throughout 2017 the INMO says 99,000 admitted patients were recorded as awaiting a hospital bed.