The Labour Relations Commission has invited the Irish Medical Organisation and the Health Service Executive to attend talks tomorrow in an attempt to avert industrial action by non-consultant hospital doctors.
The dispute centres on the requirement for many doctors to work shifts of over 24 hours at a time, and working weeks that can exceed 100 hours per week, which is in breach of European rules on working time.
The doctors are due to stage a 24-hour stoppage on 25 September, with local industrial action in certain hospitals in subsequent weeks.
The doctors want the HSE to comply with European law on working time by reducing their working hours, which they deem excessive.
The IMO argues that better rostering could resolve many of the difficulties.
However, an immediate move to alter their hours could create serious difficulty for hospitals in delivering services.
The dispute was referred to the LRC by the HSE.
The IMO agreed to attend talks. It has agreed to put in place contingency arrangements to ensure that emergency, dialysis and cancer services are delivered even if industrial action goes ahead.