Industrial action by hospital consultants is looking increasingly likely after talks aimed at resolving the matter ended without agreement last night.
The consultants are planning to cease all non-emergency activities from March 14 due to a long-running dispute over medical insurance.
The dispute centres on compensation claims for negligence relating to the time when the doctors were insured by the British Medical Defence Union (MDU).
The Government replaced the MDU with a state-run insurance scheme last year, but the British firm is now refusing to pay out compensation for past negligence claims.
Yesterday, the Irish Hospital Consultants Association met officials from the Chief State Solicitor's Office and the Attorney General's Office in an effort to secure a pledge that no doctor would be required to meet such pay-outs out of their own money.
However, the two sides failed to agree the wording of the pledge.
The IHCA said this means that the industrial action planned for next month is likely to go ahead as planned unless a resolution is found at another meeting arranged for next week.