The number of assaults on NHS staff in Wales rose to 8,466 last year, according to figures from the Welsh Assembly government.
The statistics show there were 678 more assaults than the previous year, despite there being a recent downward trend in incidents.
Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust alone recorded 1,668 assaults - almost five incidents a day. Assaults on ambulance staff accounted for 204 of the total number of attacks.
Dr Tony Calland, chair of the British Medical Association's Welsh council, hit out at the figures and said officials need to do more to ensure the safety of NHS workers.
He said, "This is an extremely disappointing rise, especially in an atmosphere of a service that any kind of violence against staff is absolutely unacceptable.
"It is very disappointing to find that patients are showing a level of disrespect for a service that is there to help them, and we call on management and the Welsh Assembly government to work even harder to protect our dedicated front-line NHS staff."
The figures come after the BMA's Welsh Secretary Richard Lewis said earlier this year that doctors need to be trained how to deal with difficult and irate patients.