Nurses say the first people to lose out in an underfunded and under-resourced health service are patients and their families.
INMO chief Liam Doran was responding to comments from the Director General of the HSE in which he compared parts of the health service to post-Saddam Iraq.
Tony O'Brien was questioned yesterday by the Oireachtas Health Committee on a report into the deaths of a number of babies at Portlaoise Hospital.
Liam Doran said members of his organisation repeatedly raised concerns about facilities there.
"Portlaoise is the worst-staffed midwifery unit in the country. A major contributory factor to any drop in healthcare standards must always be a consideration of whether staffing resources and infrastructure were proper," he said.
"We have always said the first party to lose out in an under-funded, under-resourced and poorly managed health service are patients and their families."