The continuing crisis in providing out-of-hours GP services across Hywel Dda health board was raised with the First Minister of Wales this week, where Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Adam Price called on Carwyn Jones to apologise to local patients.

On numerous occasions this year patients in Hywel Dda have been left without out-of-hours GP care at weekends due to what the health board describes as "an acute GP shortage".

This has affected centres in all three counties of Hywel Dda, but there is a particular problem in Carmarthenshire where services in Glangwili and Prince Phillip Hospitals are mostly affected.

The Royal College of General Practitioners Wales said it was representative of many out-of-hours services across Wales and is "a symptom of the severe workforce shortage general practice is facing".

The Chief Executive of the Health Board has apologised to patients.

During First Ministers Question on Tuesday, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM Mr Price asked the First Minister whether he regretted not including Carmarthenshire in the flagship 'Train, Work, Live' scheme aimed at offering a 'golden hello' to trainee GPs – a concern Mr Price raised with the Welsh Government's Health Secretary last year.

The scheme was introduced in Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire where GP training places have since been filled.

Responding to Adam Price the First Minister said it was "true to say the service has not been of the quality that we would expect" but failed to apologise to local patients.

Plaid Cymru Assembly Member, Adam Price said: "In responding to my question the First Minister recognised the out-of-hour service was not up to standard, and also recognised how the incentive scheme to attract more GPs trainees to Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire had worked.

"As I've said previously, we recognise the positive impact the financial incentives have had in bringing GP trainees to areas in which places have been historically difficult to fill. But Carmarthenshire is now effectively the only rural area in Wales where the scheme does not exist.

"Local GPs have contacted me to say the failure to include Carmarthen has had a negative impact on GP trainee recruitment. Indeed the lowest number of trainees for many years started their programmes in Carmarthen last year.

"Our local out-of-hours service is now at crisis point, with services not being available in Glangwili and Prince Phillip with alarming frequently.

"It seems to me that the actions of the Labour Welsh Government in bypassing our county has had a direct negative affect on attracting GPs and GP trainees. They should at the very least apologise, admit they got it wrong, and work to put things right."