The Health Minister said his priority is to employ more staff in the health service, and not increase wages.
However, Leo Varadkar said he supports pay restoration to public servants.
His comments follow reports that the country's 300,000 public sector workers are in line for a windfall of more than €800 through tax cuts and pay rises.
Talks on pay restoration in the public sector will get underway between Government representatives and unions next week.
Speaking to Clare FM outside an IMPACT conference in Ennis, Minister Varadkar said he was in favour of pay restoration, but not at the expense of hiring needed staff.
"Public servants didn't cause the crisis, but they did contribute enormously to the recovery, so I very much support pay restoration for public servants.
"But the money is limited - it's the same pot of money that has to go into providing better services, and tax cuts that benefit everyone in the economy.
"My preference is to have more staff in the health service, not fewer staff earning more."