The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says hospital performance has not improved, despite a 10 per cent increase in federal funding between 2008 and 2011.

The AMA's latest snapshot of hospital performance found about a third of patients in emergency departments are not seen within a half-an-hour target, and the number of beds has remained the same despite increasing demand.

It says elective surgery waiting times have increased, with patients waiting an average of 36 days last financial year, up from 27 days a decade ago.

AMA vice-president Professor Geoffrey Dobb says health reform in Australia has stalled.

"What we need is a re-energising of health in Australia and the resources to do it," he said.

"The AMA have said that we need more beds, every health worker knows that we need more beds.

"We now have a once in a generation opportunity to provide those beds because we have enough doctors and enough nurses to staff them."

Professor Dobb says the blame game continues between the Commonwealth and the states.

Federal Opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton says increased funding has not been spent in the best interests of patients.

"The Coalition would not prioritise bureaucrats ahead of beds and patients," he said.

"The Coalition wants to make sure we get money into elective surgery, that we can reduce waiting times in emergency departments, make it easier to see a GP."

Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek says the Commonwealth's extra investment has made a difference in the health system.


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