Alex Salmond said the temporary closure of a children's ward at St John's hospital in Livingston was "clearly unsatisfactory" during first minister's questions on 28 June 2012.
The hospital will not admit child patients for three weeks next month because of a staff shortage.
The first minister was responding to Labour MSP Neil Findlay, who said the decision had caused "real anger".
Mr Findlay asked: "Will the First Minister personally intervene so we can get this appalling situation resolved?"
Mr Salmond replied: "It is clearly an unsatisfactory situation that the member raises.
It is to do with the difficulties in recruitment of paediatric staff.
That recruitment process is under way, and also a new training exercise is under way.
"These actions are designed to ensure that we can avoid such things at St John's Hospital in the future."
Mr Salmond said the health secretary would be happy to conduct a meeting with Mr Findlay and representatives from West Lothian on the issue.
Earlier the Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont claimed there had been a "remake" of the pro-independence campaign launch, with the announcement that broadcaster Blair Jenkins was to be chief executive of the organisation campaigning for a Yes vote.
Ms Lamont, who was at the launch of the campaign to keep Scotland in the UK earlier this week, asked: "Is the real reason the First Minister is asking for a second question in his referendum is because he knows he has lost the first?"
Mr Salmond said "In contrast to the Labour party, a huge number of people from civic Scotland have been submitting with the 21,000 people who have responded to the consultation exercise."
The first minister said Pat Rafferty, regional secretary of the Unite trade union, highlighted how the "majority want a second question", while former Labour first minister Henry McLeish argued that "there are compelling reasons for a second question and a bigger choice for Scots".
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson asked what Dennis Canavan, the new chair of the Yes Campaign, thought about the issue of one question or two.
She said Mr Canavan supported a single question saying he had said "otherwise it would be completely confusing to the electorate".
Mr Salmond said Mr Canavan was looking at the consultation and supported the right of the Scottish people to decide the nature of the referendum.