Health Minister Mary Harney has said there is no question but that the cuts to her budget this December will be 2considerable".
Minister Harney said no budget estimates have as yet been finalised but warned that health would be hit hard as it accounts for over a quarter of Government spending.
Yesterday the HSE West announced a number of measures to avoid a €49m budget overrun.
The Health Minister said Galway University Hospital alone could making significant savings,
"Galway University Hospital has a funding gap this year of €13m," she said.
"They are owed over €4m by the private health insurers - if that was collected that brings the gap down to €9m.
"And then if they looked at agency work, weekend work, the level of administration in the hospital - I have no doubt there are continued efficiencies that can be put into effect."