HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's health minister says the government is bolstering collaborative care across the province, creating seven new teams and strengthening 16 others.

Randy Delorey says a total of 39 nurse practitioners, family practice nurses, social workers, and a physiotherapist will join 23 collaborative family practice teams in 17 communities.

The new primary health care professionals include 15 nurse practitioners, 17 family practice nurses, six social workers and a part-time physiotherapist.

New teams will be established at two locations in Dartmouth, two in Kentville and North Sydney, and one in Glace Bay.

Existing teams will be expanded at two locations in Sydney and at locations in Dartmouth, Springhill, Westville, Lunenburg, and Windsor while professionals will also be added in nine other communities.

The new hires mean 31 teams have been, or are in the process of, being created or enhanced.

"Patients need better access to collaborative primary health care, and that continues to be our focus," Delorey said in a news release.

"Adding these health professionals to practices not only better supports family physicians and other health professionals, but provides care for more Nova Scotians."