HSE Director for Emergency Management defends hospital managers amidst crisis

Around 300 patients are on trolleys this afternoon

The HSE's Director for Emergency Management Damien McCallion has warned we could see a return to the record level of overcrowding witnessed in hospitals last week.

Mr McCallion has also defended hospital managers amidst reports that Health Minister Simon Harris is prepared to replace hospital managers with outside experts in a bid to solve the problem.

Health Minister Simon Harris has said he is sorry for what Irish people are experiencing in the health service - while the HSE announced a range of initiatives to resolve the crisis.

Mr McCallion said "We know the next three months are going to be challenging.

"We can't absolutely say when certain other peaks will happen or the number of beds closed on any particular week can change due to infection control."

He continued by saying "So we have to try and manage the current situation and deal with it."

He defended hospital managers saying that they are fully committed to trying to resolve the current overcrowding crisis.