Canberra Hospital's emergency department wait times have again disappointed, while ACT's peak medical body say increased access to care in the community would help ease the pressure.
Emergency department wait times have remained well above the national benchmark under which "urgent", or category three, patients should be treated within 30 minutes.
ACT Health's latest quarterly performance report, published on Friday, showed wait times at Canberra Hospital for "urgent" patients was 74 minutes from January to March.
Wait times had increased in October to December last year to 75 minutes from 44 minutes in the previous quarter.
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said emergency department performance was a focus across Canberra and Calvary hospitals but cautioned it would only get worse in the next quarter.
"To improve timeliness of care both Calvary and Canberra hospitals are implementing changes to processes to improve patient flow through the emergency departments," she said.
This included direct admissions into wards, rapid assessment by senior clinicians and discussing practice with other jurisdictions.
Australian Medical Association ACT president Walter Abhayaratna said the health system needed to be better integrated to ease pressure on emergency departments.
Dr Abhayaratna said there was an increased proportion of "urgent" patients with chronic conditions, who turned to the emergency department because they couldn't get the help they need in the community.
"I know the people in the emergency department are doing their very best," he said.
Priority was for patients classified as "resuscitation" and "emergency", where the wait time has held steady at zero and six minutes respectively.
Dr Abhayaratna said category three patients weren't typically those who the emergency department should be dealing with because of those more serious cases.
"Instead, [category three] are the people who have had worsening conditions for the past week or longer that have not been addressed," he said.
Presentations to walk-in centres have increased in the past quarter up 2.5 per cent in January to March, almost 500 more patients than the previous quarter.
Dr Abhayaratna said it was important to offer those services in the community but called for them to be better integrated with primary care, such as the hospital.
"We think there is an opportunity that by having innovative models of funding, we will actually get more integrated care with better outcomes for patients at reduced cost," he said.
He said providing more support to people such as those with chronic conditions in primary and community care would have a flow-on effect for the hospital.
Canberra's emergency departments were under intense pressure for several days in May which Ms Stephen-Smith said would result in a hit for performance in the next quarter.
"This increase in demand is being experienced across the country, with most jurisdictions reporting pressure on emergency department and elective surgery performance," she said.
"On a national level, work is underway to better understand what is causing these spikes in demand."
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