Up to third of the GPs in Wrexham could retire from frontline patient care during the next five years, it has been revealed.
Figures produced by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) show the extent of the shortage of GPs in the Wrexham area.
The RCGP said that 33% of all GPs in Wrexham are over 55 – among the highest in Wales. Across Wales they expect 23% of all GPs to withdraw from frontline care but acknowledge the situation is much more acute in Wrexham.
Plaid Cymru candidate for Wrexham Carrie Harper said: “Plaid Cymru pledged in 2013 to recruit 1,000 new doctors if the Party of Wales wins the 2016 elections to the National Assembly.
“These figures from the RCGP illustrate the desperate need to tackle the shortage of doctors across Wales. Figures obtained by Plaid Cymru show that the Welsh Government has cut spending on doctor recruitment to just £1,115 in 2013-14, at a time when it is most needed.
“There are already well documented problems with surgeries in Hightown and other parts of Wrexham struggling to cope with demand and unable to recruit new GPs to fill vacancies. It’s about time we saw a proper training programme for GPs in Wales.”
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru AM for North Wales, added: “There is a ticking GP time bomb in Wales, and particularly Wrexham, and action must be taken before this turns into a crisis.
“More GPs are needed as Wales grapples with a growing and ageing population and efforts need to be stepped up to tackle it now. It is no good Welsh Government Ministers sitting on their hands – we need action before it is too late.”