JUNIOR doctors have again rejected calls to abandon Tuesday's hospital strike that will leave thousands of patients with cancelled operations and clinic appointments.
Health Minister James Reilly repeated his call to the junior doctors, who are campaigning to end their long working hours, to suspend the action to allow for more talks to go ahead.
However, a spokesman for the doctors, who are represented by the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), said the comments from Dr Reilly and the HSE have only served to inflame the situation.
"Reaction from members has been very hostile to what the HSE and minister are saying," he said.
A spokeswoman for the HSE said patients were being informed of cancelled appointments where "required".
"The patients concerned, where possible, will be advised of a new date for hospital attendance and treatment," she said.
The doctors will reduce manning levels to those of weekend rosters on Tuesday in pursuit of their campaign to end shifts of more than 24 hours and secure the introduction of a 48-hour working week by the end of next year.
The outstanding matter of disagreement is the demand for sanctions by junior doctors which would see them paid on the double for hours worked over 24 hours if the hospital cannot give them time off in lieu.
This is rejected by the HSE, which has proposed that managers be held accountable if a hospital breaches the rosters and ultimately that the hospital have funding removed.
Eric Young of the industrial relations office at the IMO said: "We have received very strong support from the public. Patients can see for themselves the stress our members are working under.
"They understand that a successful outcome to this campaign now will actually improve patient safety in the long run."