South Lakes MP Tim Farron is demanding ministers invest in GP services after the number of doctors in Cumbria and North Lancashire has fallen by over 18% during the past six years.
Figures from the House of Commons Library show that the number of GPs in Cumbria and North Lancashire has plummeted from 404 in September 2015 to 331 in June 2021.
It comes as many people are struggling to book an appointment with their GP, with services increasingly under pressure from rising demand.
Further analysis by the British Medical Association (BMA) shows a dismal picture overall for GPs, with there being the equivalent of over 1,900 fewer fully qualified, full-time GPs now than there were in 2015.
Tim said: “The worsening GP shortage has given rise to a postcode lottery, with our hard-working doctors overstretched and people left waiting too long for treatment or even an appointment.
“Having worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic and to rollout the lifesaving vaccines, GPs now find themselves being subjected to shameful abuse with no support from ministers.
“Rather than slagging off our hard-working GPs in the press, the Government should be investing in training up more doctors, to ensure patients get the fair deal they deserve.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “The number of full-time GPs increased between March 2016 and March 2021 and, last year, a record-breaking number of doctors started training as GPs.
“We are grateful for the tireless efforts of GPs throughout the pandemic and have invested £270 million to expand GP capacity, on top of £1.5 billion until 2023/24.
“We are committed to increasing the number of training places available for GPs to 4,000 a year and creating an extra 50 million appointments annually to improve patient access.”
However, NHS figures show that since September 2015 the number of permanent qualified GPs in England has fallen by 2.2 per cent, from 27,369 to 26,778 in June 2021.
The number of doctors nationally, however, has increased by 20 per cent in five years and 29 per cent in 10 years.