Long surgery wait at some Vic hospitals

Elective surgery waiting times have recorded their biggest improvement in 15 years but semi-urgent patients across Victoria are still being forced to wait.

Almost half of all category two semi-urgent elective surgery patients at eight major hospitals are still waiting more than the recommended 90 days for treatment.

Health Minister David Davis said while category two had been a challenge for more than a decade there had been improvements elsewhere in the latest figures released on Wednesday.

"What is remarkable about this set of figures is an improvement over a large number of categories and an overwhelming number of hospitals on most measures," he said.

"On balance this is a remarkable set of outcomes; that is not to say that every single category is a perfect outcome."

In 2013/14 just 51 per cent of category two semi-urgent elective surgery patients at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Royal Women's Hospital had their surgery within the three months recommended by experts.

Dandenong Hospital and West Gippsland Healthcare at Warragul are the worst in the state with just 50 and 49 per cent of patients, respectively, being treated in 90 days.

By comparison, all semi-urgent elective surgery patients at both the Mercy Hospital and Sandringham and District Memorial Hospital were treated within the clinically recommended timeframe.

Statewide the figure was 69 per cent, below the 80 per cent target.

The elective surgery waiting list stood at 38,078 at June 30, down by 11,184 or 22.7 per cent reduction from a year earlier.

Mr Davis said it was the largest annual reduction recorded over 15 years.

The report also showed the number of ambulance transfers completed within 40 minutes grew to 88.5 per cent in the June 2014 quarter, from 76 per cent in the previous corresponding period.

Australian Medical Association Victoria branch president Dr Tony Bartone says the report does show overall state improvement, but doesn't take into account thousands of people waiting to see a specialist for access to elective surgery.

"Both the current and former government have never counted people waiting for outpatient specialist appointments," he said in a statement.

He urged all parties to immediately release any outstanding health policies ahead of the state election on November 29.

"Victorians need to know how these political parties are going to address hospital access constraints, health funding budget cuts, and increases in population and rates of chronic disease."