Ireland has half the number of ICU beds and staffing compared to other EU countries, according to a leading expert.
The issue has been brought into sharp focus as the country prepares for a surge in coronavirus cases.
The European Centre for Disease Control is warning that ICU facilities may not be able to manage rising numbers of serious cases.
Dr Tom Ryan, intensive care consultant at St James’ Hospital in Dublin, says additional equipment is needed so the health service can cope with the expected surge in Covid 19 cases:
"Hopefully we will never be faced with a situation where we will have to deny a patient who has a prospect of survival," he said, referring to vast overcrowding in a number of hospitals in Europe since the outbreak began.
"We will never have to deny such a patient appropriate care if we get the equipment we need as soon as we can," he added.