SouthDoc took more than 15,000 calls during festive season last year

More than 15,000 people used the SouthDoc service during Christmas last year, with most of those calls coming in a 48-hour period between December 26 and 27.

That’s according to new figures released by the out-of-hours GP service, which covers Cork and Kerry.

It was also the busiest Christmas period in Kerry, in the service’s history.

The top ailment which callers complained of over Christmas last year, was a sore throat, followed by cough, temperature, vomiting, abdominal pain and back pain.

The busiest day was St Stephen’s Day, when a record 2,332 calls were received by the service.

This was closely followed by December 27, when 2,318 calls were answered.

Christmas Day is traditionally the quietest day, despite a full GP service being available.

Staff at SouthDoc say they’ve invested in new technology this year, and the number of phonelines have also been increased, to cope with the expected rush.