The HSE has asked the public to help protect hospitals and emergency services over the August bank holiday weekend.
People are being asked to consider other options before attending emergency departments (EDs) or calling for an ambulance with hospitals reporting record numbers of patients attending for care and treatment.
This includes a sharp increase in the number of patients who are seen and treated in the ED and then discharged without requiring admission to hospital.
The HSE says that many of these patients could have been treated at other healthcare services such as Injury Units, GP and GP Out of Hours services and pharmacies.
Patients who attend EDs for routine and non-urgent treatment are being advised that they will experience very long waiting times over the coming weekend and into early next week.
People are also being asked to bear in mind that the National Ambulance Service (NAS) is extremely busy at present.
NAS prioritises calls so the most seriously ill or injured receive the quickest response.
The HSE is also encouraging people to heed advice from An Garda Síochána and slow down this bank holiday weekend.
They added that if you or someone else is seriously ill or needs urgent emergency care, do not delay going to ED or dialling 999/112 for help.