Nova Scotia’s health minister says he’s following up on concerns raised in a public meeting regarding doctor shortages in Cape Breton.

However, as the Liberal Cabinet wraps up meetings on the Island, there’s public pressure for government to do more.

Health Minister Leo Glavine was in Baddeck Thursday morning to attend the Liberal Caucus meeting - however, days earlier, he was a no-show for a rally to address doctor shortages.

The ongoing issue of doctor shortages in Cape Breton is something many are calling a health crisis.

“I, as Minister, never move away from controversy, challenging community issues,” says Glavine.

Glavine says he couldn’t make the rally on Sunday because he was attending a major event in place of the Premier.He says the rally, which was arranged by the Opposition Progressive Conservatives, wasalso put together on short notice.

He says just because he wasn’t there, doesn’t mean he isn’t listening to concerns.

“Two, three other MLA’s were there, recording secretary to get not just the mood, but conversations that went on,” says Glavine. “I have a really good understanding why the meeting took place, what was said, and what needs to go forward.”

Nearly 10,000 people are without a doctor on the island, and many say the government needs to act quickly to fill the void.

“It’s very frustrating for people. What do they do if something serious happens?” says resident Carolane Karmanov. “They could be waiting months for follow up and stuff.”

“The government’s got a lot of problems of course, but I think they should emphasize a little more on the doctor shortage right across,” says resident Bill Dewolf.

“We changed government and they said they were going to do something for it,” says resident Leon Samson. “We’re hoping things will go well.”

Glavine did say recruitment efforts are being “stepped up” and pointed to a new collaborative family practice that will be set up in Sydney as an example of the team-based model of primary care delivery that the province in moving forward with.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.