Over 556,000 patients were waiting for a first hospital outpatient consultation at the end of January, it has been revealed.
Figures released by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) show that more than 67,000 were left waiting for inpatient or day case treatment.
Budget 2020 provided €100 million euro for the fund this year, a €25 million increase on 2019.
The National Treatment Purchase Fund has said that the money will be used to help improve waiting times.
Meanwhile, 419 patients are being treated on trolleys at hospitals across the country today with University Hospital Limerick the worst affected.
A total of 64 people are awaiting beds at the UHL.
It is followed by 42 people awaiting beds at University Hospital Galway and 36 at Cork University Hospital, according to the INMO.