The Australian Medical Association says public hospitals around the country are going backwards despite extra funding.

According to the AMA’s annual report card, hospitals in every state including Queensland are failing to meet key benchmarks.

Amy Partington reports.


The AMA’s annual report card has found there’s been little improvement in public hospital capacity and performance across Australia between 2009 and to 2010.

The President of the AMA says hospitals across the country are struggling to meet demand and do not have the capacity to cope with the strain of Australia’s ageing population.

That’s despite an additional $5.3-billion in funding over the same period.

Dr Steve Hambleton, AMA President: “It’s very important that we actually see that funding gets delivered to the bedside, to the patients who need the care in our country.”

Queensland has scored a better mark than other states, but the AMA fears the results could be distorted by what it calls “hidden waiting times”.

Dr Steve Hambleton, AMA President: “We want to know the amount of time from when a doctor sees a patient and that patient gets surgery.”

But Queensland Health has labelled the report “dated” and is based on old information.

Tony O’Connell, Queensland Health Director General: “Much more current informaton is released by Queensland Health continuously.”

The AMA judges hospitals across three categories: bed numbers and occupancy rates, emergency department and elective surgery waiting times. They say they’re disappointed with the results in all three.

But, the AMA says it’s not all bad news.

There have been welcome increases in the rates of tissue and organ donation.

Amy Partington, QUT News.