Figures published by the Welsh Government from data extracted by the Health and Social Care Information Centre come just weeks after the annual conference of LMCs demanded a cap on workload as practices struggle with rising demand and a workforce crisis.
The total number of GPs, excluding registrars, retainers and locums, was 1,997 at the end of September 2015, 9 fewer (0.4%) than the previous year, but up by 148 on 2005.
The annual report on GP workforce and patient numbers revealed that the number of practices in Wales fell by 1.7% from 2014 to 2015, to 454.
The fall maintains a trend over the past decade that has seen the number of GP partnerships drop 8.7% between 2005 and 2015GP partnerships in 2005, compared with 454 in 2015.
Registered patients per partnership rose from 6,140 in 2005 to 7,021 in 2015, up 14.3% over the decade. Since 2005 the number of registered patients per GP has fallen by 54 (3.3%) to 1,596.
The report also showed a continuation of the trend towards a predominantly female workforce, 50.4% of GPs female in 2015, an increase of 56.9% since 2005.
The numbers of GPs aged over 55 remained steady over 5 years, the report found, with around 23% in 2015.
Following last month’s Welsh LMCs conference deputy chairman of GPC Wales Dr David Bailey told GPonline: 'There is a real problem in parts of Wales where it is almost impossible to recruit now, and in those areas there are real signs of despondency.'
Motions demanding a cap on workload reflected the impossible situation GPs in understaffed and overworked practices found themselves in, Dr Bailey said.