The Health Minister says there's been a disconnect between hospital and community care for too long.
Cabinet is this morning considering the creation of six new regional health areas as part of major reform of the health system.
It'll be phased in from the start of next year and will be fully operational by 2024 - with decision making devolved to the regions.
There are 49 patients on trolleys at Cork University Hospital and 13 without a bed at the Mercy University Hospital today, according to the latest Trolley Watch figures
Last week the INMO revealed that nursing staff are exhausted and burnt out and warned that staff will walk off their jobs if the situation does not improve.
The lack of step down facilities and community beds has long been blamed for overcrowding at acute hospitals in Cork city.
Minister Stephen Donnelly says the reform of the health system is long overdue.
"For a long time, we've had a disconnect between hospital care and between community care.
"So as an example, you're talking quite rightly about the pressures for the emergency departments right now.
"It's a really good example of why we need the regional health areas and why it should just be a continuity of care for all patients.