The Health Minister admits overcrowding in Irish hospitals will get worse before it gets better.
It comes after the The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation counted its highest ever number of people waiting on trolleys or seats yesterday.
The union calling for a return to the mask mandate in crowded settings, which the Minister says is not being considered at the moment.
Speaking after a visit in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin last night, Stephen Donnelly admitted overcrowding levels are not acceptable.
"I don't think there's any doctor or nurse or healthcare assistant in this hospital were standing outside now, or working in any of our hospitals across the country, that would find that acceptable.
"It's not acceptable and it's it's it's never been acceptable. And so the question is, well, what can we do about that.
"The healthcare professionals have said to us all over many years, we need more beds, and they're right."