Health Minister Mary Harney warned today that December's Budget will feature "substantial and enormous" cutbacks to the health service.
Ms Harney had previously indicated that up to €600m will have to be slashed from health spending next year.
But this afternoon she said the cuts would go even further than that.
She also said that while the Government would welcome support from the opposition on the Budget, it would still present its own plan.
“The sums involved are enormous,” said Minister Harney.
“The reductions in spending on the public health service next year will be enormous, but remember in the good years we were increasing spending at an average of 8-9% a year.”