Canberrans spent more time waiting for emergency care than any else across the country.

A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows while wait times had improved slightly in the ACT from the year before, locals were still spending more time at the ED.

The report found Canberrans waited an average of 44 minutes before being seen, almost half an hour longer than the national average of 17 minutes.

The figures also revealed just 48 per cent of presentations were seen on time, also down from the national average of 74 per cent.

Each state and territory recorded improvements in wait times this year, the ACT’s average wait time dropping by six minutes in the past 12 months.

Canberra Liberal’s Shadow Health Minister, Giulia Jones said she wants to know what the Government is doing to address the issue.

“We have had an underinvestment in health in the past decade, that’s very clear.”


“I look forward to hearing from the Minister what will be done differently this time.” She added.

Health Minister Rachael Stephen-Smith insists work is already being done to improve performance and patient flow.

“At Canberra Hospital, this includes direct admission into wards and discharging patients to other care pathways when appropriate.”

However, the Minister admits there’s more to do.

“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.”