More than a million people were treated at hospital emergency departments last year -- and figures for the first two months of this year show an increase of just under 8pc on the same period last year.
In some hospitals, the attendance figures for the first two months of this year were up by between 32-43pc.
In the Dublin commuter area, Tallaght emergency department saw just under 73,000 patients last year, followed by Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda with just under 54,000.
Beaumont hospital came next with over 49,000 and the Mater hospital had over 48,000 while St James' Hospital had just under 46,000 attendances. St Vincent's Hospital had 40,000, Connolly Hospital had just under 32,000, Naas had 24,500, St Colmcille's had just under 20,000 and St Michael's in DunLaoghaire just under 14,000.
When the figures for the first two months of this year are compared with the same period last year, Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda had an 11.4pc increase in emergency patients and Beaumont had a 9.4pc increase, Connolly an 8.7pc rise, St James a 7.3pc rise and Tallaght a 7pc.
Figures from the HSE show that the picture was even worse in other parts of the country.
The Mid West Hospitals Group saw over 96,000 emergencies, the Galway hospital group saw over 85,000 and Cork University Hospital saw just under 57,000.
Waterford Regional Hospital saw just under 50,000, the Midland Regional in Portlaoise saw 41,000, Wexford General Hospital saw 34,000 and St Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny saw 31,000.
When figures for the first two months of this year are compared with the same period last year St Luke's Hosp- ital in Kilkenny records a 43.7pc increase in the numbers attending.
Mayo General had a 32.5pc increase in emergencies and Our Lady's in Navan had a 32.1pc rise.
In complete contrast the numbers attending the South Infirmary in Cork for the two months dropped by almost 35pc and the figures for St Colmcille's in Loughlinstown in Dublin dropped by 15.4pc.