More than 2000 Victorian public hospital beds have disappeared since 2011, according to the nurses' union, but the government rejects the claim.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) says a bed count across the system shows more than 100 extra beds disappeared and more than 1100 beds have been closed since its last audit in 2011.
A further 800 beds promised before the election by the Victorian government have not been provided, bringing the total shortfall to 2017 beds, the union says.
But Health Minister David Davis rubbished the figures, saying bed numbers are increasing.
"Bed numbers are growing in Victoria, the government has delivered on its promises there," he told Fairfax Radio.
"But more and beyond that, we're building enormous new capacity across the system."
However, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews called for Mr Davis to resign as health minister, saying hospitals have gone backwards on every measure under the coalition.
"Denis Napthine and David Davis' cutbacks mean there are less beds in our hospital system today than there were three years ago," he told reporters in Melbourne.
"If they're wrong, Mr Davis, then provide the list of where all your extra beds are located.
"This government talks the talk but they haven't provided the resources that they promised.
"What that means is Victorians are dying, patients are suffering."
Premier Denis Napthine says the most recent figures show there has been an increase in beds under the coalition.
"Right across the system we are investing billions, upon billions of dollars," he told reporters.
"Drive past hospitals around the state and you will see new capital works going on to expand the system."
Dr Napthine says the government inherited a system from Labor that was significantly under-invested.
The premier added Mr Davis was doing an outstanding job and would remain as health minister.