Surgery at the Commonwealth Health Center in the Northern Marianas has come to a stand still because the general surgeon is on leave.
All operations are being referred off-island.
The lone general surgeon, Dr John Yarofalar, has been on leave since Thursday last week and should return by next week.
The CNMI Department of Public Health is now actively looking for another fulltime general surgeon to ensure that one is always available.
However a Department official says it is hampered by location and the small salary on offer.
CNMI offers its general surgeons 180,000 US dollars a year, compared with 250,000 in Guam.