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The IWK Health Centre services women, children, youth and families in the Maritimes. (CBC)

The region's largest children's hospital has to reschedule nearly a dozen pediatric surgeries after one of its generators broke.

A routine check at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax revealed a problem with one of the starters in the main generator in the children's building on Wednesday.

Spokesman Nick Cox said the generator was taken offline immediately to start repairs.

He said it was back up and running in about five hours and has been in service ever since.

"The safety of our patients and families is number one. As soon as we realized there was a problem with the generator it was fixed immediately. As a protocol, as a precaution, we postponed surgeries that were to take place in that time," Cox said.

It's the third time in seven months patients have been inconvenienced after a generator problem. In July the IWK postponed surgeries two days in a row after it lost power. Then in October a generator failed again.

"We require reliable back up power so it's something we are looking at seriously," said Cox.

Six of the 11 cancelled surgeries are now rescheduled.

Cox said he wasn't sure how severe the surgeries were.

The IWK Health Centre services women, children, youth and families in the Maritimes.