10/16/2014 01:07 EDT | Updated 12/16/2014 05:59 EST

Nova Scotia to address gaps in care for brain injuries, health minister says

HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia government will develop a strategy aimed at improving long-term support services for those with acquired brain injuries, the province's health minister said Thursday.

Leo Glavine said the government wants to address gaps in community care services once patients are released from hospital.

Glavine said a review will be conducted next year and his goal is to have a new provincial program in place by early 2016. There are no estimates yet on how much it would cost.

There are an estimated 2,700 people in the province who suffer brain injuries each year and as many as 60,000 Nova Scotians dealing with the long-term impacts of brain injuries sustained through accidents, concussions and strokes, Glavine said.

Ryan Blood, president of the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia, welcomed the government's move. He said for decades there has been a need for help beyond the initial acute care provided in hospitals.

"There's a significant need for a lot of intervention," Blood said. "That's what we are dealing with here, an injury that doesn't heal that doesn't resolve."

Glavine said an advisory committee would be named in the coming weeks to provide direction and advice on the strategy's content, its recommendations and help craft an implementation plan.