Over 40,000 patients in Wales have had to find new GPs in the last five years due to surgery closures, new figures have revealed.
Last year, six main practices and seven “branch” surgeries shut resulting in around 15,000 having to move practices.
It follows news reported in recent months that the GP crisis has worsened as the number working in Wales reached his lowest since 2013.
In April, the National Survey for Wales disclosed that one in five people struggled to book time at their surgery in 2016/17.
Welsh Conservative and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health Angela Burns AM commented:
“The Welsh Labour Government may say they have made progress on GP recruitment, but numbers are at a five-year low, because they are incapable of attracting such high-skilled professionals into Wales – or even training them – and it won’t bring back those closed surgeries.
“Medical practices are an integral part of communities, particularly in rural areas, as several groups of people rely on them for not just their physical, but mental, health needs.
“With last year seeing the most patients having to move in recent times, it shows a clear pattern of worsening access to healthcare in Wales.
“Welsh Labour must now realise that if their current strategies are not working, they must be more ambitious and radical in how they plan to deliver healthcare.
“Welsh Conservatives have very clear, robust patient-centred strategies from increasing funding for primary care and increasing the number of community care workers.”