Fears have been raised that a north-east medical practice could be just the first to close due to the ongoing problem of attracting doctors to the area.
Banff councillor Michael Roy is worried after medical services in the neighbouring village of Gardenstown were transferred to Macduff.
The move came after the Press and Journal revealed that residents were being forced to travel 10 miles to reach their nearest doctor last September.
Despite months of talks and efforts to bring in new staff, NHS Grampian announced earlier this month that all patients will be transferred to doctors at Macduff Medical Practice in April.
Mr Roy now fears that unless doctors are brought into the region to plug gaps, the crisis could spread to other health centres.
“There is difficulty in the Deveron Medical Practice in obtaining enough doctors already,” he said.
“Recently, we’ve had a doctor move to Forres, and Deveron is now reviewing arrangements. It’s all part of the parcel of the problem we seem to be experiencing in this part of the world.
“We are having great difficulty in attracting professions – we’re talking about teachers, doctors and solicitors. We’ve formerly had a problem with dentists, but now it’s medical professionals.”
Mr Roy added that the medical practice’s waiting times has already increased because of a lack of GPs.
NHS Grampian is currently in the process of sounding out the Aberchirder community about amalgamating its medical practice with the surgery in Portsoy.
It would leave service users with a 20-mile round-trip to visit a doctor in each village.
A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said Portsoy Medical Practice had already “agreed” to take on the new responsibilities.
“This new service will commence on April 1,” she added.