"Sometimes as much as 18 months, and on a few occasions I have even had the 'house full' sign sent to me," said AMA vice president Dr Tony Bartone.
Some patients will have to wait up to two-and-a-half years before surgery, he added, saying this situation is "unacceptable".
The report also revealed that waiting times for emergency departments are worse, with 66 per cent of urgent presentations in 2016-17 seen within the recommended time frame.
The AMA is calling on the governments to work out a better funding agreement for the public hospital system or people will die.
"The current funding formula will doom our public hospitals to fail, and patients will suffer as a result," said AMA president Michael Gannon.