More investment is needed to support hospitals across the Shannonside region that are having to cope weekly with overcrowding in emergency departments.
That's according to INMO Industrial Relations Director Tony Fitzpatrick.
Speaking ahead of the INMO annual conference in Sligo this week, the INMO official says extra bed capacity is the obvious long term solution to overcrowding, but increased investment in other areas is also needed.
He says hospitals in Mullingar, Cavan and Ballinasloe are seeing consistent increases in attendances over recent years and they need increased investment to match that.
''In the region of Cavan and Mulligan and Portiuncula, you know these are emergency departments that are under severe pressure. They're very small emergency departments, as in the physical space is not big, but they're under severe pressure with the number of people that are presenting there. There's no doubt that the level of presentations are going up. The presentations are generally older people and then when older people come into hospital, their length of stay is likely to be longer as well. So there is a need for investment in infrastructure and also for the staff.''