SouthDoc, the out of hours GP service in Cork, is in urgent need of doctors.
Two text messages were sent to GPs across Cork city last night, seeking urgent assistance at the Kinsale Road SouthDoc centre.
One text sent at 5.40pm said help was "required urgently" at the centre.
A second text message, sent at 7pm, revealed SouthDoc is "extremely busy".
"Can anyone help out please even for a couple of hours?", read the message.
SouthDoc, the GP out-of-hours service in Cork and Kerry, has been making headlines in recent months amid staff shortages, increased demand and threats of strike action.
More than 220,000 calls were made to the SouthDoc service in Cork in 2019.
In a letter to GPs in the region, SouthDoc general manager Maire Hussey acknowledged that 2019 was a “particularly challenging year” for the service.
She cited HSE funding, the availability of doctors, and increased service demand as the main issues facing SouthDoc.
The Echo recently revealed issues such as a lack of night-shift cover, cancellation of house calls, and urgent requests to GPs from management seeking cover in the region.
Towards the end of last year, Cork GP Dr Nick Flynn warned the service was stumbling from “crisis to crisis”.
His comments came after SouthDoc management was forced on several occasions to seek urgent cover for city clinics just minutes before the service was due to open.
Speaking to The Echo, Dr Flynn said questions had to be asked over the management of the service, when such issues are becoming “recurring problems”.
“There are recurring problems in SouthDoc, both in the county and city, and you have to ask, what are management doing to address these?
“The service is just going from crisis to crisis at the moment.”