Sligo Emergency Medicine Consultant Dr Fergal Hickey says the HSE must find "alternative pathways" for some people to access urgent healthcare.
Dr Hickey says a significant amount of people who are turning up in Emergency Departments can't actually be helped there because they need outpatient investigation.
He was commenting on figures that show many large Irish hospitals are currently as busy as they'd be during a pre-pandemic winter surge.
The HSE says a number of factors are driving this, including delayed non-covid care.
The Delta variant has also raised concerns that doctors may be forced to cancel appointments again.
Speaking on the Let's Talk show today the Sligo hospital consultant says many people who are presenting to ED's may have had abdominal pain or back pain for a number of months and had struggled to get face to face time with their doctors.
He says while they do need medical care, they don't need it immediately, and the HSE needs to find some better way of allowing these people to access normal healthcare.
Listen to the full interview with Dr Fergal Hickey here