One person could die a day due to overcrowding in Irish hospitals, according to patient advocacy groups.
This morning there were 577 people are waiting on trolleys across the country today, according to the INMO's daily Trolley Watch figures.
The Emergency Department Task Force is meeting to discuss overcrowding in Irish hospitals.
Stephen McMahon of the Irish Patients' Association says an outbreak of flu or a tough winter would be bad news for patients.
"The Emergency Medicine Association have already said that there could be up to a patient dying each day due to overcrowding," he said.
Phil Ní Sheaghdha, INMO General Secretary, says it's getting very difficult for hospital workers to provide safe care.
"Obviously the solution is more beds. If you need more beds, you need more staff," she said reiterating their call for a lift on the hiring embargo.
This sentiment was shared by SIPTU representatives today at the Joint Oireachtas Health Committee.
SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell told the committee that the focus from the Department of Health has been entirely on cost reduction.
“This results in departments not receiving approval to recruit identified safe staffing levels and health workers do not have guaranteed access to funding for postgraduate courses which are essential to the service they provide," he said.