The Irish Medical Organisation has said that industrial action is an option as a last resort in its opposition to the Croke Park II agreement.

The organisation said today that if there is an aggregate Yes vote by the Public Services Committee of Congress on 17 April, the IMO will not regard it as a collective agreement.

The IMO has also warned that non-consultant hospital doctors are at breaking point in relation to excessive working hours.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State at the Department of Health, Alex White, has said that he respects the views of all professionals on the abortion issue.

He said that the Government will proceed with the proposed legislation and that heads of a bill will be ready within weeks.

Yesterday at the IMO conference members attending the meeting in Kerry voted against supporting legislation in line with the X case.

The Minister also said he hopes to bring revised proposals to Government on how to achieve the promise of free access to GP care for all by the end of this Government's term.

He said it was not a rowing back on the Government commitment but that they would look at the route in which it is delivered.

Elsewhere, the new President of the Irish Medical Organisation has said he hopes that at the end of his year in office the union will have a more robust set of rules and regulations.

Dr Matt Sadlier, a consultant psychiatrist in Dublin, said he hoped to keep things together for the 5,000 members and "the show on the road".

Dr Sadlier said that his new role is "fairly terrifying", and added that he would continue, but to a lesser extent, his hobby as a comedian, which he said he loved.

Dr Sadlier said that in the past year he was aware that each president received a stipend and the value of it but was unaware that it was calculated as 25% of the former chief executive's salary, as revealed yesterday by RTÉ News.

He has put on hold his stipend pending an internal governance review of issues due to be completed late in the summer.

Dr Sadlier said he had never asked about the pay and conditions of the former chief executive.