The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says private hospitals should give as much capacity as they can in the fight against COVID-19.
16 private facilities have agreed to provide up to 30% of capacity to the HSE under a new agreement.
It will be in place for the next year in case there are any further spikes in the virus.
The Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said it also allows for more capacity to be made available by mutual agreement, noting, “a number of hospitals have already indicated that they might be willing to offer such capacity if required.”
It comes as the INMO urged the HSE to implement new “critical emergency” protocols in response to surging coronavirus figures.
General Secretary of the INMO, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said that their "key priority" is to ensure vaccines are provided to frontline staff working in hospital settings.
"This is really important because we need to have as many nurses, doctors and other patient-facing healthcare workers at work," she told Newstalk Breakfast with Susan Keogh.
"It's important in order to meet this virus head-on, the numbers are going up, the numbers in hospital are going to continue to go up if the modelling and predictions as we have been advised will continue the trend."
There are now 1,285 people being treated in Irish hospitals nationwide with COVID-19, the CEO of the HSE said this morning.
Ms Ní Sheaghdha said that there 3,837 nurses have been infected with coronavirus to date.
She added that they are seeing a "high number" of people who have suffered long-COVID after contracting the virus.
She welcomed the new deal agreed with regard to private hospitals yesterday, and said they should be treated as part of the whole health system.
"The private hospitals need to be involved, they have to take some of the pressure off the hospital system," she added.
"We can't be distinguishing between private and public now, that's just not an option.
"This is too serious now, this pandemic is the only issue that everybody in the country must be focused on dealing with.
"We must keep people alive, as much as a private hospital or a public hospital can give they have to give, there should be absolutely no question about that."