Four pathologists in Dunedin are considering quitting their contracts for coronial post-mortems because of a lack of income.
The Ministry of Justice has confirmed the pathologists may withdraw their services at the end of next month.
A ministry spokesperson, Tania Ott, said it had been holding discussions with the pathologists and Southern Community Laboratories since late last year.
Ms Ott said that as well as a lack of pay, the pathologists believed a Dunedin-based service was not sustainable given its volume of work.
The pathologists collectively do about 150 post-mortems a year.
Ms Ott said the work could be done in either Invercargill or Christchurch, or by bringing a pathologist to Dunedin when needed.