The Irish Hospital Consultants' Association has said it will engage in ''non-binding'' talks with the HSE on changes to consultant work practices, under the Croke Park Agreement.

In a letter to the Labour Relations Commission, IHCA President Denis McEvoy said that an extension of hospital services could only be achieved if an agreed minimum number of consultants in each speciality were in place.

He said the country still only had two thirds of the consultants needed.