The IMO has passed a motion of no confidence in the Government's health policies at the start of its annual conference in Killarney.

In a strong attack on the health legacy of the economic boom, Dr Ruairi Hanley, an IMO committee member, said the Health Service Executive had been a 'hellish creation' of the Government.

Dr Hanley, a junior hospital doctor, said that there was ongoing chaos in hospital emergency departments where hundreds of people continue to suffer on trolleys due to the failure of the HSE.

He claimed there had been a callous betrayal of thousands of older people who lost their medical cards and he criticised the delay in introducing the cervical cancer vaccine for young women which he predicted would result in unnecessary deaths.

Out-going IMO President Dr Martin Daly said Government health policy had been an abject failure.

The Department of Health has rejected the criticism.

A department spokesman said that any fair assessment would acknowledge significant progress in the areas of cancer, care of the elderly and primary care services.

The HSE said that the majority of patients requiring admission to a bed are transferred to a ward without any undue delay.

The IMO is also vowing to resist attempts by the HSE to change basic terms of employment.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, IMO President Dr Martin Daly said doctors were concerned about the effects of cutbacks on patient care.

GPs say they have already sacrificed a drop in income for treating medical card patients, following cuts in fees payments for treating over-70s medical card patients.

They have warned that a further cut in payments could reduce services to medical card patients.

Meanwhile, back pay for hospital consultants who took up the new contract since last July has been frozen and a decision is imminent on whether payments under the new contract will be made in full.