Illawarra residents face some of the longest waits in the state for elective surgery according to new figures.
At the end of the April to June quarter, there were 111 patients left waiting more than a year for surgery at Illawarra Shoalhaven hospitals.
That compared to just 14 patients in Western Sydney left on the wait list after 12 months; 10 in South Eastern Sydney; 21 on the Central Coast and 27 in South Western Sydney.
In fact the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) was second worst only to Northern NSW Local Health District (with 133 patients) for this measure.
And the local figures have jumped in recent years - with 59 patients left waiting over a year at the end of June 2018; and just nine at the end of the same quarter in 2017.
Labor's health spokesman Ryan Park said the Bureau of Health Information Hospital Quarterly figures revealed the region's hospital system was at "breaking point".
The Keira MP said he would be seeking an urgent briefing from NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard to see what was being done to cut wait lists.
"It is quite clear now that more Illawarra residents are waiting over 12 months for surgery than virtually anywhere else in NSW," he said.
"People don't go on to a surgery waiting list unless they really need the operation. To have a year come and go would be quite distressing for the person and their family.
"Clearly this list indicates that there is a problem. Your postcode shouldn't determine your access to health services but that is clearly what is happening here."
The BHI figures showed that 3457 elective surgery procedures were undertaken across the ISLHD from April to June.
The median waiting time for urgent surgery was 12 days, though some waited up to 28 days. Non-urgent patients faced a median wait of 330 days - with some waiting up to 378 days.
Overall, a total of 6111 patients remained on the wait list at the end of the quarter. The majority of those (1884) were awaiting cataract surgery, which represented a 21 per cent jump for that procedure compared to the same period in 2018.
Nearly 500 patients remained on the list for a knee replacement; 429 awaited a tonsillectomy and 240 required a hip replacement.
"I have met with locals who have decided to go to Sydney hospitals because the wait is too long in the Illawarra," Mr Park said.
"The government must immediately look at why this continues to be an issue.
"We need greater investment both in terms of expansion of the hospitals but also in additional staff who are under enormous pressure each and every day.
"This shocking statistic is more than just numbers on a page. They are individuals who have to live with considerable discomfort for an excessive period of time just to get the surgery they need and have a right to expect."
Wollongong MP Paul Scully said the independent statistics revealed another pressure point in the Illawarra's hospital system.
"At the end of June there were more than 100 people waiting for urgent elective surgery in the Illawarra and more than 100 patients who have been waiting for more than 12 months for their surgery," he said.
"Again this points to the need to expand bed numbers and I urge the Berejiklian government to reconsider its refusal to find $1 million to renovate the 'ghost ward' which would open up another 35 beds at Wollongong Hospital."
ISLHD executive director clinical operations Margaret Martin said the report did reveal that 89.5 per cent of all surgeries were completed within clinically recommended timeframes in the quarter.
"Nearly all of the 742 urgent surgeries, 99.3 per cent, were completed on time, and 88.7 per cent of 1067 semi-urgent surgeries were completed on time," she said.