An elderly woman discharged from Cork University Hospital's emergency department said staff were "run ragged" because of the flu crisis and overcrowding.
The 71-year-old woman, who declined to be named, said she had attended the emergency department with respiratory problems and a high temperature.
She said she had been on a trolley for around six hours before being allocated a bed and treated with antibiotics and a nebuliser.
The woman was diagnosed as suffering from the flu with complications from an underlying health condition.
However, she was then deemed well enough to be sent home.
"It's amazing the work they are doing in there - those doctors and nurses are run ragged," she said.
"But what can they do when there isn't enough beds?
"It is soul-destroying to see sick people on trolleys.
"I think I was one of the lucky ones to get a bed so fast."
She said she was in hospital last January and heard exactly the same arguments about lack of bed capacity, under-staffing and lack of resources.
"It is shameful the pressure that is being put on hospital staff - they are saints to put up with it. They are working round-the-clock to treat patients but they don't have the (hospital) beds they need," she said.
"The problem is a lot worse this year. I don't think I've ever seen as many elderly people on trolleys. It is very sad."
In a recent blog posted on the Cork University Hospital (CUH) website, the CEO, Tony McNamara, suggests the INMO's figures of patients on trolleys are misleading and calls for a more "honest debate" on the issue. Mr McNamara says: "Many patients are appropriately on trolleys in assessment units in our hospitals awaiting a decision as to whether they need to be admitted or not."