One in 10 patients on Teesside waited seven days or longer to see a GP the last time they tried, an official NHS survey has found.
14.5 percent of local patients faced a wait of a week or more when they phoned for an appointment in the last year in the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group area.
7.6 percent of local patients in the South Tees area face a wait of more than 7 days.
Labour has pledged to invest £100 million in GP surgeries - saved by scrapping David Cameron's NHS market rules that waste millions on lawyers fees and contract tendering - to guarantee appointments within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it.
The annual NHS England survey, released earlier this month, also revealed that local patients struggle to see the family doctor of their choosing. 35% of patients who have a preferred GP had to see another doctor when they last went to their surgery. The next Labour Government will also give patients the right to book ahead with the GP they prefer to see.
The delays have left nearly 9% of local people saying they would not recommend their family's practice to new patients.
Now, Labour's General Election candidate in Stockton South is calling for action.
Louise Baldock said:
"David Cameron has made it harder for people in Stockton South and across Teesside to get a GP appointment - proof he can't be trusted with our local NHS.
"Within days of the last election, he scrapped Labour's appointments guarantee and now thousands of people here are waiting over a week.
“Residents in Ingleby Barwick regularly wait up to three weeks and I was shocked to hear from a Yarm patient recently about an eye watering four week wait.
“Labour will scrap David Cameron's NHS market and invest the savings in helping people get a GP appointment within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it."
Louise Baldock has launched an online survey at http://www.louise-baldock4stocktonsouth.org.uk/healthsurvey as part of her campaign to improve access to local GP services.
Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, said:
"This NHS survey confirms what Labour has been saying.People want to be able to see the GP they trust, and who knows their family history, but are left phoning the surgery day after day only to be disappointed. Patients are waiting days or even weeks for appointments and that is forcing people to A&E in record numbers.
“People know from their own experience that the NHS is heading downhill under this Government."
GP survey statistics - NHS England CCG Report (July 2014): http://gp-survey-production.s3.amazonaws.com/archive/2014/July/weighted/July%202014%20CCG%20Report%20weighted.xls