Roxon rejects AMA report card on hospitals

But the Gillard government has argued that the latest annual hospital report card from the AMA is wrong and that patient care is improving.

The 2011 report, launched in Brisbane on Thursday by AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton, suggests that public hospitals in all states and territories are failing to meet key benchmarks of the Council of Australian Governments

Bed numbers per capita remain in decline, while waiting times for elective surgery are on the rise, the report says.

It says there were just 2.6 public hospital beds per 1000 people in 2009–10, down by 3.5% on the previous year.

Dr Hambleton said just 378 new beds were opened across Australia in 2009–10, well short of what was needed.

"We are looking at needing 3800 extra beds," he told reporters on Thursday.

"Sadly, our report card again has shown that there is a deterioration in the amount of care being able to be