Derry-based GP Dr Tom Black was speaking as Stormont ministers meet to assess the latest health data ahead of next week’s planned reopening of nightclubs.
Social distancing in hospitality is also due to be scrapped on that date.
Dr Black is against the reopening due to high Covid-19 rates and numbers of young people still unvaccinated.
Four more coronavirus-related deaths were reported in the North of Ireland on Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to 2,639, according to the Department of Health.
It reports that the highest number of people testing positive for Coronavirus are females aged 10-14.s
“The NHS is facing the biggest crisis in its history,” Dr Black said.
“We have Covid, winter pressures, the respiratory illnesses, the bronchiolitis in children… and we expect further pneumonias and flus coming.”
On the issue of nightclubs reopening on Sunday, October 31, Dr Black said it was “not sensible”.
Speaking to BBC Radio Foyle, Dr Black said: “You are sending a lot of young people who are unvaccinated into enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.
“Why would you do something stupid like that in the middle of the pandemic?”However, the North’s First Minister Paul Givan has already said that there are no plans to halt the re-opening of nightclubs.
Dr Black said the Covid pandemic had taken up about 12% of hospital beds and further exacerbated long-standing problems within the health service.
“Too many hospital beds are, at present, occupied by unvaccinated Covid patients.
“We cannot cope with that in the health service.”
He said he “cannot understand” why about 18 per cent of the population over the age of 12 remain unvaccinated.
But, he said, the situation is further compounded by the backlog of waiting lists.
He said doctors are increasingly becoming “overwhelmed with work” and the BMA is concerned they could start to leave the medical profession in significant numbers.
“We could lose five, ten maybe 15 per cent of the workforce by Easter,” he said.Tags: