Canberrans waited longer than anyone else in the country to be treated in emergency departments in 2019-20, as the COVID-19 pandemic saw hospital visits slashed.
Every state and territory recorded an improvement in emergency department wait times as people stayed away from hospitals.
But the ACT has remained the worst performing jurisdiction.
According to the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, just 48 per cent of Canberra patients were seen on time in the territory's emergency departments in 2019-20.
It was well below the national average of 74 per cent, and was the lowest proportion of patients seen on time of any state or territory. The next worst performing jurisdictions were South Australia and Tasmania, both on 65 per cent.
The territory performed worst among urgent - or category 3 - patients, with just 28 per cent at Canberra Hospital and 42 per cent at Calvary Public Hospital treated on time.
The ACT also recorded the longest median wait times for its emergency departments in the country, at 44 minutes. It was more than double the national median wait time of 17 minutes.
According to the data, the average number of daily presentations to emergency departments across the country declined substantially in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Category three waiting times continue to be a challenge across the ACT health system and will remain a key focus as we move into the new year.Rachel Stephen-Smith
Between the week starting March 9 and the week starting March 30, presentations fell by 38 per cent.
The average daily number of presentations for injuries decreased from 5800 in the week beginning February 24 to 3400 in the week beginning March 30.
"These trends coincided with increased restrictions on public and social gatherings and activities, including sporting events and travel restrictions, and availability of other health facilities," institute spokesman Adrian Webster said.
While Canberra's emergency departments were not as busy over the first half of the year thanks to the pandemic, the latest quarterly ACT Health report, also released on Thursday, shows waiting times are beginning to increase once again.
The median wait time for urgent patients at Canberra Hospital increased by 57 per cent in the three months to October, compared to the previous quarter. There was also a 16 per cent increase in the number of patients treated at ACT public hospitals.
Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said activity in Canberra's emergency departments was returning to normal.
"Category 3 waiting times continue to be a challenge across the ACT health system and will remain a key focus as we move into the new year," she said.
"While both hospitals have been focusing on our COVID-19 response throughout the year, there has also been work happening across both public hospitals to improve performance and patient flow through emergency departments.
"At Canberra Hospital, this includes direct admission into wards and discharging patients to other care pathways when appropriate."
She said health services had worked hard to recover from the suspension of non-urgent elective surgeries between March and June, which had led to an increase in patients waiting for elective surgery and those who were overdue.
"The government has invested an additional $30 million into the public health system to boost both outpatients and elective surgery - including a commitment to deliver more than 16,000 elective surgeries in 2020-21 - to help address the impacts of COVID-19," Ms Stephen-Smith said.
The quarterly report showed more than 52,300 people attended a dedicated coronavirus testing site in the three months to October.
It was more than double the number recorded in the previous quarter.