Three doctors at a hospital in the Naples area of Italy have been suspended for treating A&E patients while they were lying on the floor.
Antonietta Costantini, manager of the public health district that includes Nola hospital, justified the suspensions, saying the doctors should have told administrators the A&E had a stretcher shortage.
But health minister Beatrice Lorenzin defended the doctors, saying they were "heroes" who did the best they could under trying circumstances.
Flu and a meningitis scare flooded Italian emergency rooms over the holiday period, when many doctors were on leave.
The suspensions were ordered after someone uploaded a video to the internet showing doctors at Nola hospital tending to a patient lying directly on the floor and others on blankets spread out on the floor.