HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia government is moving to increase the potential pool of organ donors.

Under the newly proposed Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act all hospitals will be required to refer all medically suitable donors, in the event of death, to the province's organ donation program -- regardless of whether they have signed an organ donor card.

Following the referral, families would then be approached to discuss the possibility of allowing organ or tissue donation.

Government backbencher Gary Ramey, the ministerial assistant to Health Minister Maureen MacDonald, says about 55 per cent of Nova Scotians have given their consent to be organ and tissue donors.

However, Ramey says medical audits reveal that referrals are often not made to the organ and tissue donation programs at the time of death.

Ramey says last year there were only 15 organ donors and 95 tissue donations provincewide and there are currently 141 patients waiting for an organ transplant.