Health Minister Simon Harris has pulled out of speaking at the annual conference of the Irish Hospital Consultants' Association today.
Simon Harris was set to give the keynote address but the doctor's group says he's pulled out at the last minute citing a scheduling clash.
Hospital consultants meanwhile say six key government health plans are under threat if more senior doctors aren't hired.
The Children's Hospital, the National Cancer Care Progamme, the National Maternity Strategy, major initiatives in urology and intensive care, and the National Mental Health plan are among those that could be affected.
A list of big government initiatives is running into trouble because of a lack of senior doctors in the health service according to the IHCA.
It says one in every five consultant jobs are now vacant, and there are serious issues with hiring and retaining senior doctors.
Doctors will also hear research on burnout and stress among their colleagues and the stark contrast between working conditions here and overseas.