"BMA Northern Ireland GPs committee chair Tom Black said concerns about the service were as a direct result of under-funding."
The Patient and Client Council research showed that 687,000 patients went to emergency departments for treatment last year and more than one fifth waited longer than four hours to be admitted or treated and discharged.
The review also found the majority of people who had used the GP out-of-hours service in the past year were happy with their experience — 44 per cent said it was good, while 19 per cent said it was excellent.
However, patients were concerned about waiting times for a return call from the service with 54 per cent asking for faster ring back times.
BMA Northern Ireland GPs committee chair Tom Black said concerns about the service were as a direct result of under-funding.
He said: ‘The GP out-of-hours service cost £25m in 2003/04 and that [budget] has since reduced to £19.5m.’
Dr Black is due to discuss with GPs around Northern Ireland whether they would consider taking back responsibility for commissioning out-of-hours services.
A Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety spokesperson said the minister, Edwin Poots, was prepared to meet BMA Northern Ireland to discuss the matter.