Nursing Unions have called an emergency meeting with the HSE tomorrow as overcrowding reaches crisis levels at Cork's two biggest hospitals.
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says conditions at Cork University Hospital and the Mercy Hospital are 'appalling' - while flu levels have prompted visitor bans at several hospitals across the country.
INMO General Secretary Phil Ni Sheaghdha said the HSE has confirmed they will meet with officials at 3pm tomorrow in a bid to work out a solution across the weekend.
She said: "We knew that the hospitals were under pressure, particularly The Mercy and Cork University Hospital and they are now in a situation where they have so many people on trolleys.
"Their hospitals are overcrowded to such an extent that they are very concerned about the services that they will be trying to put in place next week."
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin has said it is no surprise that a bad strain of flu was coming.
Dublin's Mater hospital is telling people to stay away unless it is "absolutely necessary" to come in.
Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O'Reilly said action should have been taken earlier.
"It absolutely could have been dealt with," she said.
"The minister should have opened additional beds to ensure that the capacity is there.
"What we have are announcements and re-announcements and what we don't have is an increase in capacity that is so badly needed."
In response to Ms O'Reilly's comments, the Department of Health have said it is "wrong to say there has been no additional capacity."
In a statement, the department said: "€39m in additional funding has been provided to the HSE to assist with these pressures. The Department has also agreed with the National Treatment Purchase Fund to open an additional 199 beds, including 51 to open on Monday.
"The Department acknowledges this is a particularly difficult time for emergency Departments and encourages people to follow the advice of the HSE."