Scottish Labour's Health spokesman Neil Findlay claimed that "in parliament this week [Health Secretary] Alex Neil tried to brush aside concerns I raised on the readiness of the NHS for winter".
He added: "Action must be taken now to prevent this winter from becoming a catastrophe for patients. If he doesn't do anything, or explain his plans for managing the increase in services required, then Parliament should hold an inquiry into the NHS is Scotland."
A Scottish Government spokesman said Scotland was the first country to implement a national patient safety programme across the healthcare system and had some of the safest and best hospitals in the world. He said: "We expect all NHS Boards to ensure they have appropriate staffing levels in place.
"We are fully committed to the provision of safe and sustainable services, and have invested significantly in the medical workforce. Under this Government, NHS staffing is up 5%, there over 1000 extra qualified nurses, and 1600 more doctors since 2006."
Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said: "When people see this kind of problem exposed in our NHS, they wonder why the SNP continues to fool everyone into thinking it has developed some kind of enviable legacy."