07/09/2015 12:29 EDT | Updated 07/09/2016 05:59 EDT

Nova Scotia promising better access to obstetricians where there are shortages

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's health minister says the government is working on a solution to a shortage of obstetricians and gynecologists that is being experienced in some parts of the province.

But Leo Glavine said Thursday it could take a year or more for a solution as the province recruits more doctors.

The province is looking at a successful program used by the IWK Health Centre in Halifax as a model for the province.

"How that will be done will be part of the provincial service planning, to have the right number of obstetrician-gynecologists in each of the centres," Glavine said Thursday.

"We need that backup. We need that way to be able to fill in when a doctor is sick or goes away for a month of professional development, whatever."

In the meantime, Glavine said the province has been able to recruit a new obstetrician for Antigonish to replace a doctor who is retiring.

"We are moving in the right direction here but to have the best plan for maternal health is indeed one of the priorities of the new provincial health authority and recruitment will be done at the right level, the right complement and the right set of skills that are required in each of the centres across the province."