A survey of 317 recently appointed consultants has found that over 70% say they will seriously consider resigning from their public hospital posts unless what they say are "discriminatory salary terms" are corrected.
The survey was done by the Irish Hospital Consultants Association.
The consultants say that the lower salary terms do not reflect the importance of the work and level of responsibility that they hold in their public posts.
Almost all of the respondents to the survey said that lower salary terms are having an adverse impact on the delivery of patient care, due to the large number of consultant posts that are unfilled or filled on a temporary basis.
IHCA President Dr Donal O'Hanlon said that the survey has provided categorical evidence that highly trained specialist consultants will not continue to work in the health services if the persistent and blatant discrimination against them continues.
The IHCA said that recently appointed consultants are on salaries significantly below those of their pre-October 2012 colleagues, who are currently being paid up to 57% more.