Labor says leaked figures show more than 10,800 Tasmanians are waiting for surgery but the government says waiting times have plummeted.
In Question Time in State Parliament, Labor leader Rebecca White asked if the figure was the highest on record and used the example of a Barrington man "who has to have his hand amputated because he has waited too long for the surgery that could have saved his hand".
"Waiting lists are spiralling out of control and people are suffering in pain," Ms White said.
"Some are at risk of dying. The situation is only going to get worse because you are cutting the health budget.
"This massive blow-out has occurred in the months following your decision to cut elective surgery activity by 15 per cent."
Health Minister Sarah Courtney said 32 per cent of the State Budget was spent on health - up from 25 per cent.
"More than half a billion dollars invested this year, compared to when they (Labor) were in government," Ms Courtney said.
"This allegation that Ms White keeps peddling is absolutely untrue.
"When we were elected we saw elective surgery at their worst levels in the nation. It was a disgrace."
Former Health Minister Michael Ferguson said waiting times for surgery had dropped.
"Importantly the waiting time that people experience when they're on a waiting list is significantly improved," Mr Ferguson said.
"It used to be 10 years for the longest waiting patients and the average due time was 530 days and it is now below 100, about 95. The key metric is the waiting time."