An independent review is being established to consider how consultant-led services can be restored for women giving birth at Elgin hospital.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman announced that Ralph Roberts, the chief executive of NHS Borders, would lead the work looking at maternity services at Dr Gray’s Hospital.
It currently operates a midwife-led service, meaning women with more complicated pregnancies may not be able to give birth there.
But Ms Freeman said she remained “committed to the reintroduction of consultant-led maternity services at Dr Gray’s in a safe and sustainable way”.
The review is expected to be completed before the end of June this year, with findings and recommendations submitted to ministers.
Staff shortages meant NHS Grampian was forced to switch to a midwife-led service at the hospital in July 2018.
Ms Freeman said: “The Scottish Government is pleased this review will be led by Ralph Roberts who has considerable experience of the challenges of remote and rural health care delivery through his work in NHS Borders and NHS Shetland.”
She added: “My position hasn’t changed and I remain committed to the reintroduction of consultant-led maternity services at Dr Gray’s in a safe and sustainable way.”
The independent review will take place alongside the Best Start North review, which is looking at maternity and neonatal services in the NHS Grampian, NHS Highlands and the Island health board areas.
Ms Freeman said it would “consider all the issues and hear directly from staff at Dr Gray’s and the local community”.
Mr Roberts said: “I am pleased to be invited to lead this review, and look forward to working with families and staff in Moray and listening to their views so that a clear way forward for these essential services can be identified.”