The Commonwealth Health Center in Saipan in the Northern Marianas no longer has a full-time nephrologist following Dr. Raphael Loutoby's refusal to renew his contract after a 20-percent cut in his salary.
The chief medical officer at the government run centre, Dr. Divya Sharma, says they are looking at all options to replace Dr Loutoby.
He says these include having a Guam-based nephrologist visit the CNMI on a periodic basis or hiring a full-time nephrologist.
Given the high rate of kidney-related diseases and diabetes in the CNMI, having a full-time nephrologist at the only government hospital is considered important.
Dr Sharma says Dr Loutoby did not accept the 20 percent cut in his annual salary of 250,000 US dollars which was supplemented with a housing allowance.