The Minister for Finance has again ruled out granting pay increases to nurses.
Strike action by 43,000 nurses and midwives begins on Wednesday, resulting in thousands of hospital outpatient appointments being cancelled, along with all elective surgeries, and some maternity services.
The strike will begin at 8am on Wednesday and will end at 8am on Thursday.
They want pay increases to bring them in line with other health professionals.
Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe says the State will only negotiate on the public sector pay agreement.
"The government is available to engage in the industrial relations machinery of the state across the next 48-hours in advance of the potential industrial action on Wednesday," said Mr Donohoe.
"But all of the engagement is those fora has to be anchored in the fact that we have a collective wage agreement."
Meanwhile, patient groups are appealing for both sides in the nurses dispute to make one final effort to avoid strike action.