Dungannon’s out-of-hours GP service struggled to cope with demand over the weekend due to a shortage of medical cover.
The growing scarcity of GPs across the region meant that the South Tyrone area covering tens of thousands of patients was left without any doctor to send out overnight on Saturday from the central Dungannon base.
Angry patients and their relatives took to social media to vent their frustration.
One disgruntled mother who had to take her sick child to Craigavon instead, said the situation was a disgrace.
A spokesperson for the Southern Trust said that whilst there were no GPs in the Dungannon base from Saturday 6pm to Sunday 8am, the trust-wide service was available to all residents in the area during this period, including advice, base appointments and home visits.
“GPs choose to work in the service as they are not required to provide an out of hour’s service in their contract”, he said.
“There continues to be many committed GPs who work hard in addition to their day time practice to ensure an out of hours service is provided.”