The HSE has issued advice for patients ahead of a planned strike by nurses this week.

More than 35,000 nurses are expected to strike, in a dispute over pay and staff shortages.

The 24-hour industrial action is planned to take place at all public hospitals, healthcare facilities and community healthcare services from 8am on Wednesday until 8am on Thursday morning.

The nurses are protesting over pay and "a recruitment and retention issue" in the profession.

While Emergency Departments will be open, the HSE is urging people not to go there unless it's absolutely essential

In acute hospitals, in-patient and day surgeries will be cancelled, with the exception of cancer surgeries.

All out-patient appointments will also be cancelled and local injury units will not operate.

The HSE said it will reschedule any appointments that are cancelled as soon as possible and will make contact with patients directly.

Hospital services unaffected by the strike include care on in-patient wards, maternity, oncology and dialysis services.

Further information on cancellations and restricted services are available on the HSE's website.

The General Secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has said the clock is ticking in its dispute with the HSE.

The Union says that the industrial action can still be avoided and repeated its call for an intervention from the Taoiseach's office.

General Secretary of the INMO Phil Ní Sheaghdha said "at the moment there doesn't appear to be any sign the strike will be averted".

She said the union is "available for realistic proposals from Government", but added "that hasn't happened to date".

Talks between the two sides at the Workplace Relations Commission broke down without agreement on Friday evening after three days of talks.

A spokeswoman for the Minister for Health has said Simon Harris is urging both sides to use the time and mechanisms available to avoid this dispute. 

Management and the Workplace Relations Commission remain available for talks. 

She said: "The Minister has said repeatedly that engagement is key to this dispute being avoided and he hopes the remaining time is used by both sides to prevent industrial action from proceeding."


The arrangements to deliver health services on the day are listed below.

Acute Hospitals

Services that will not operate on the day of the strike:

· Local Injury Units will not operate

· With the exception of cancer surgery cases, all other planned in-patient and day case surgery will be cancelled

· All out-patient appointments are cancelled, including adult, maternity and paediatric

· In the event that a pregnant woman requires urgent assessment due to cancellation of OPD, she should present to the Emergency Admission Room

Services that will operate on the day of the strike:

· Urgent cancer surgery - Patients will be contacted directly by hospitals if their surgery is proceeding

· Emergency theatres

· In-patient wards

· Maternity services (delivery suites/home births/special care baby units/neonatal)

· Critical care

· Colposcopy services

· Oncology services (chemotherapy and radiotherapy)

· Dialysis

· Emergency departments (adult and paediatric)

· Planned obstetric procedures (based on maternal and foetal well being)

Community Services

Services that will not operate on the day of the strike:

· All public day centres for older people or people with disabilities, where nurses are employed, will close

· All routine community nursing services and health centre clinics where nurses participate will be cancelled

· All day hospitals or out-patient appointments in community nursing hospitals/units will be cancelled

Services that will operate on the day of the strike:

· Planned essential services at home

· Long-term care of older people and people with intellectual disability

· Palliative care

· Limited newborn screening services will be operational