Staff shortages should not be used as a reason to justify removing out-of-hours GP cover from North East Fife, an MSP has insisted.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said he had heard from health service sources that the evening and weekend GP rota at St Andrews Community Hospital was fully staffed until Christmas.
He added that the service had run well when it was fully operational until a few months ago.
Fife Health and Social Care Partnership closed overnight GP services in St Andrews, Glenrothes and Dunfermline in April and centralised them at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.
The move was initially meant to be a three-month contingency measure, amid fears there were not enough doctors and nurses to run the service safely at all four centres.
The contingency period was extended at the end of June and a decision on its long-term future will be taken later this month.
People in north east Fife have argued that if GPs there are willing to operate a local service, they should be allowed to do so.
Mr Rennie said: “Evidently, staff are willing and able to work from St Andrews since we know the current rota has all the shifts filled.
“We also knew that the service ran well when it was fully operational just a few months ago.
“I’m frustrated and confused as to why staff shortages has even been cited as reason to justify reducing the service from north east Fife.”
Michael Kellet, Fife’s director of health and social care, confirmed the contingency measures were prompted by workforce challenges but revealed the number of GPs willing to work in the out-of-hours service had recently improved.
He added: “Challenges remain in covering all shifts in all bases with both nurses and GPs.”
Mr Kellet said feedback from a recent consultation would be considered on December 20.
“There are several reasons outlined within the proposals as to why changes to urgent care are required, including developing a safe and sustainable service to meet future and current needs through an integrated approach delivered by a team of nurses, GPs, paramedics as well as a range of health and care professionals,” he said.