Out of hours GP services are "unsustainable in their current form" warn GPs.
The chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in Wales, Dr Rebecca Payne, who is also a leading expert in out of hours care, said: "out of hours all too often is left unsupported [and] under resourced."
Dr Payne was responding to a report from the Wales Audit office, which said of GP out of hours that "staffing problems and poor morale are putting services under pressure."
The findings, according to Dr Payne, come as no surprise, but are still concerning.
Out of hours GP services provide urgent primary care when surgeries are closed. The Wales Audit office says it's report shows out of hours services are under significant strain - despite patients being largely positive about the service they receive.
The Wales Audit office says its report "found that national standards on the timeliness of appointments are not being met and that patients need to be given better information about how to access services."
Among eight recommendations made in the report are:
- Standardising patient information on NHS websites and GP phone lines.
- Doing more to make out-of-hours services more attractive places to work.
- Developing a national workforce plan to tackle staffing problems.
- Doing more to spread and encourage more innovative practices.
The Welsh Government says it is aware of the strains facing the service.