Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary has called on the Minister for Health to rule out the suggestion that there be fewer Emergency Departments in Irish hospitals.
Mr Calleary criticised the suggestion, made by HSE chief executive Paul Reid.
Mr Reid said there is a need to strengthen community care to provide some relief to hospitals.
“If we keep doing everything the same as we've been doing it, we'll continue to have the same answer and have an overcrowding issue,” he told Newstalk Breakfast
“That does have a vision of having a small number of dedicated, major trauma centres across the country with a number of spines and hubs through the country off that,” he added.
However, Mr Calleary doesn't agree with Mr Reid's assessment.
“I fail to see how shutting ED’s will alleviate the shocking overcrowding especially in the worst affected hospitals, such as Limerick, Galway, Cork, Waterford and Letterkenny," he said.
“Making access more remote is not a route we should go down. The need for more beds and staff is clear and it needs to be as close to the people as possible.
“There will be great concern amongst many communities, especially in rural Ireland, if the future of a local Emergency Departments were to be put in jeopardy," he added, calling on the Government and the Department of Health to distance themselves from the comments.