Concern is being expressed over the lack of emergency consultant cover in one-in-three hospital emergency departments.
The figures, released to Fianna Fáil through Parliamentary Questions, revealed that 10 hospitals across the country have no 24/7 consultant cover.
Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson and Cork North Central TD Billy Kelleher said that people in rural Ireland have the right to emergency cover as much as anyone else.
"So if you downgrade further our emergency cover across the country in terms of hospital departments, well then you're going to leave huge areas without emergency cover," he said.
"And all in all, elective surgery is something that people plan for - emergency cover is something that is unplanned, so therefore you have to have available and on standby, adequate services to deal with emergencies."