The HSE has announced that it is to close 25 beds to patients at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.

It will also be cutting expenditure on agency staff and overtime pay by half, from Monday next.

In a statement released this afternoon, the HSE Mid West, said these measures were being taken in an effort to reduce overall expenditure.

Services in the Mid West were €21m in excess of the available budget by the end of June this year.

The HSE Mid West said it was continuing to explore all means to minimise the impact on front line services.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is due to meet with the HSE Mid West on Wednesday to discuss the proposed measures aimed at reducing expenditure at the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.

Industrial Relations officers Noel Treanor, says basic services cannot be sustained with these cutbacks.

Mr Treanor said Limerick unlike other cities, does not have any alternative health service providers that can be accessed through an emergency department.