Hundreds of junior hospital doctors have written to Minister for Health James Reilly to say they are prepared to leave the healthcare system.

The 800 non-consultant hospital doctors, who are members of the Irish Medical Organisation, say their new employment contract will lead to a generation of junior doctors taking up work overseas.

Dr Mark Murphy, Chair of the NCHD Committee of the IMO, said there was "deep unease" at what some felt was "an agenda to portray the medical profession as though they are driven by greed".

"The 800 NCHDs that have written to the minister are saying that this will be the straw that breaks the camel's back," he said.

"It's been proven that we're a very flexible group of public sector employees, and yet we're treated in a manner like this by being given a contract which is extremely inequitable and shows no such sign of solidarity.

"It's promoting an intergenerational divide," he added.

IMO President Dr Paul McKeown said the country could lose talented and skilled workers if the problem was not resolved.

The IMO says junior doctors already train for a long period, work long hours and have low morale.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One Dr Murphy said Irish doctors will move abroad.

"Consultants have very difficult working terms and conditions and if you look in the international world of medical recruitment Canada, United States, UK, Australia, New Zealand, the remuneration is better, the term and conditions are better, the work life balance is better."