The latest Australian Medical Association report card has painted a "depressing" picture of Australia's public hospitals, with the ACT stacking up poorly against other states and territories.
The association's national president, Dr Tony Bartone, has called on both major parties to make meaningful long term funding pledges for the country's public hospitals in the lead up to the election.
The 2017-18 report card once again showed the ACT ranked poorly compared to its peers in emergency department and elective surgery wait times.
The report card showed the ACT failed to improve its performance in areas including access to emergency treatment, patients leaving emergency department within four hours and elective surgery wait times.
The ACT's percentage of urgent emergency department patients seen within the clinically recommend time frame dropped to 37 per cent - the worst performance in the country.
In 2002-03, that figure was close to 75 per cent.
Dr Bartone said the consequences of underfunding were significant, branding the report "depressing".
"Underfunding can lead to increased numbers of deaths for admitted patients, higher levels complications, delayed care, delayed pain relief, and longer length of stay for patients," he said.
"Public hospital capacity is determined by funding.
"We can't have a hospital system that is stretched so tight that scheduled elective surgery is cancelled because ward beds are needed by seriously ill patients who unexpectedly present in emergency.
"We can't have a hospital system that is so under-resourced that primary health care doctors cannot find a hospital bed for their patients who need elective surgery.
"Greater funding is needed to lift the capacity of our hospitals."