Lawyers for junior doctors and district health boards are in talks today to set the ground rules for urgent facilitation before a five-day strike next week.
Junior doctors are poised to begin their fifth and longest strike yet in the employment row.
The next strike by the doctors will begin at 8am Monday at all public hospitals except in Canterbury and last until Friday.
The Employment Relations Authority agreed nine days ago to a request from the junior doctors' union to provide urgent facilitation.
No date has been set yet, but RNZ understands a teleconference began late this morning between the ERA and representatives of both sides.
It will set ground rules for facilitation, and dates may be provided later today.
Hospitals have urged people to update prescriptions, see a GP if needed, and keep the emergency department for emergencies.
Patients whose appointments are postponed are being contacted directly.