Major political parties must commit to new long-term funding for Australia's overly burdened public hospital system, the Australian Medical Association warns.
AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone said the association's latest hospital report card paints a depressing picture of overstretched hospitals and patients waiting longer for their care.
"Increasing demand, increasing population, increasing complexity of illness has put enormous pressure that's not being funded enough," Dr Bartone told Sky News on Saturday.
"It's over stretched, it's over burdened."
The report found elective surgery waiting times are at their highest level since records began, with some patients dying before treatment while others are waiting more than a year for their operation.
Fifty per cent of all patients are now waiting at least 40 days for treatment, compared with 36 days in 2013-2014 and 27 days 16 years ago.
The report also reveals that one million people in need of urgent operations are waiting longer than medically recommended.
Health funding has become a major election issue and was at the forefront of debate on Saturday as campaigning resumed after the federal leaders had called a truce on Good Friday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison stuck to his well trodden rhetoric of his government's 60 per cent increase in hospital funding or $31 billion over the next five years through hospital agreements with all state and territories bar two.
"When you can manage money, you can manage the health system. When you can manage money, you can list affordable medicines. When you can manage money, you can guarantee Medicare, as we are, and as we have,"' Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney.
Mr Morrison was announcing a total $165 million of health funding on Saturday - $100 million for clinical trials for medicines and treatment in rural and remote Australia and $65 million for a dedicated cystic fibrosis specialist unit at Sydney's Westmead hospital.
But Labor's health spokeswoman Catherine King said the AMA report is a damning indictment of the cuts and chaos inflicted by the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government in the health portfolio over the past six years.
"It should serve as a wake-up call to Scott Morrison - the cuts must end."
Labor has promised will $250 million into reducing waiting lists, $500 million into tackling public hospital cancer support, and a total package of $2.3 billion into tackling cancer over the next four years.
Australian Associated Press