Emergency general surgery is to be temporarily withdrawn at the Daisy Hill hospital in Newry from the end of February.
A Southern Health Trust board meeting was told it was an “interim” measure due to ongoing recruitment challenges.
This is the first time this has occurred at the hospital, with services to be delivered at Craigavon instead.
That is despite repeated recruitment processes.
Director of Acute Service Melanie McClements said the trust’s “hand had been forced” because one of those two consultants would shortly be leaving their post.
Only two out of six general surgical consultant posts at Daisy Hill have been filled.
More as the story develops