The Master of the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin is warning the HSE of a looming crisis at the country's biggest maternity hospital.
Dr Sam Coulter-Smyth says the level of births at the Rotunda is currently not sustainable as they do not have sufficient staff or resources.
The hospital currently has one midwife per 50 births which is twice the international standard – putting the hospital under severe pressure. Coulter-Smyth claims.
"The numbers have been rising by about 4 – 6% each year," he said. "This is the first year where the numbers have dropped back a little bit, but we're still 35% busier than we were in 2006.
"Over the course of that time, our budget allocation has dropped- it's been reduced, and the hospital in its current form is not sustainable.
"We can't deal with the number of patients we're trying to put through the system."