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ASMS - working for better health care in New Zealand

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) is the professional association and union uniting doctors and dentists in New Zealand. READ MORE

Employment advice and support for salaried medical specialists and one stop shop for those seeking senior doctor jobs in New Zealand hospitals and health sector.

Latest News & Reports

Queensland Updates

16 April 2014

The Mercy Hospital (Dunedin) annual Quality Awards recognise excellence in improving the delivery of health services, projects and programmes throughout the hospital. Surgical smoke is known to be hazardous to the health of the surgical team and patients. A group of operating theatre nurses have carried out a project to improve perioperative staff awareness of electrosurgical smoke plume and improve smoke evacuation, and their findings are available here.

16 April 2014

The King's Fund think tank says a crisis is looming for the NHS in 2015-16, with just one in six health service finance directors confident their organisations will be able to balance the books. The King's Fund says the future of the health service is at risk unless politicians come up with radical solutions to the crisis in the coming months, and it warns of significant cuts to services.

16 April 2014

Radio New Zealand's Kim Hill has interviewed Catherine DeAngelis, Emeritus Professor at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, first female editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, and a visiting Seelye Fellow at Auckland University.

16 April 2014

A resolution to the Queensland public hospital doctors contracts dispute is close. The Australian Medical Association says substantial progress has been made over the past week in negotiations between the Queensland government and the organisations representing senior doctors. The Association’s media release is available here.

A spokesperson for the ‘Keep Our Doctors’ campaign and president of the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation, Dr Tony Sara, says there are still key elements that the Government needs to address before any revised contracts will be put to doctors to sign. “Ultimately it’s up to the state’s doctors to decide whether they are confident the contracts put the needs of patients ahead of the needs of bureaucrats,” he says. The full text of his media statement can be read here.

For all Queensland contract dispute updates click here.

15 April 2014

There is pressure on the Government to address chronic shortages in health services, according to an item on TVNZ’s One News programme.

14 April 2014

The Labour Party’s announcement of an extended national bowel screening programme is good news for patients and front line clinical staff, says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

14 April 2014

Labour leader David Cunliffe has issued a statement committing to a national bowel screening programme and outlining plans to extend the current service.

14 April 2014

Questions are being asked about the world’s readiness to respond effectively to a global flu outbreak, and whether the right governance structures are in place. Writing on The Incidental Economist, Nicholas Bagley has highlighted concerns raised by Harvey Fineberg, who chaired the committee set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) to review the international community’s response to the H1N1 pandemic of 2009. Harvey Fineberg, in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, has identified a number of shortcomings in the WHO response to the pandemic, including systemic failures and operational missteps. He says the organisation is better designed to respond to short-term emergencies rather than provide the intensive, global response required for a rapidly unfolding outbreak, and he concludes that the world was fortunate the 2009 pandemic was not more severe.

14 April 2014

The current model of market-driven overuse of antibiotics underpins worrying levels of antibiotic resistance and it is untenable, argues Kevin Outterson, a professor at the Boston University School of Law, where he co-directs the Health Law Program. He is also a member of the antimicrobial resistance working group at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

11 April 2014

US plans to release the details of how much individual doctors are paid for specific procedures under the Medicare system are stirring debate about the value of this disclosure and its possible impact. CMS hopes the data will help people compare the services provided and the payments received by individual providers, and that market forces will then pull errant physicians into line. Nicholas Bagley looks at the arguments for and against disclosure.


14 April 2014

Dr Hein Stander, President

14 April 2014

Ian Powell, Executive Director

13 April 2014

Henry Stubbs, Sr Ind. Officer

13 April 2014

Dr Alan Doris, MPS

In Depth

Pincer Movement Traps Public Hospitals

An address by Ian Powell, ASMS Executive Director, to the Australian Medical Association Industrial Coordination Meeting on New Zealand's Public Hospitals: Trapped in a Pincer Movement, 3-4 April 2014.

DHBs FAILING over distributive clinical leadership (The Specialist, Issue 98, March 2014)

Late last year the ASMS surveyed DHB-employed members on distributive clinical leadership in DHBs. This followed an earlier survey which awarded most DHBs an abysmal E-Grade when it came to committing to time for non-clinical duties to support clinical engagement by senior doctors and dentists.  Our most recent survey aimed, among other things, to further explain this poor state of affairs.

Health and the proposed Transpacific Partnership Agreement (The Specialist, Issue 98, March 2014)

Economist, Bill Rosenberg of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions writes about the serious concerns for health resulting from the proposed TPPA. If completed, the TPPA is designed to have profound effects on New Zealand and its other members which will be very difficult to reverse.

Health Dialogue" Waitemata DHB's 'Package of Care' Elective surgery model: A costly experiment?

The latest Health Dialogue publication from ASMS.

Building Capacity amongst Specialist Disciplines: Swans and Legs

An address by Ian Powell, ASMS Executive Director, to the Future Healthcare Workforces Conference in Auckland, 19 June 2013.

The Public Hospital Specialist Workforce: Entrenched shortages or workforce investment?

A comprehensive report by the ASMS on key issues concerning the demand and supply of specialists in New Zealand public hospitals. Public hospitals are not retaining enough of the specialists we train, are not recruiting enough specialists to fill the gap, and are not retaining many of those we do actually manage to recruit.

Core Documents

ASMS Annual Report 2013

The Annual Report covers the full range of ASMS' activities over the past year.

Clinical Leadership - a definition

Members have requested that we post a definition of "Clinical Leadership" on our website - a concise definition can be found here.

Medical Council Memorandum of Understanding with DHBs

This memorandum of understanding is far more detailed and comprehensive than the statement of collaboration they've had in the past.

Minister of Health's Letter(s) of Expectations

This year the Minister of Health has issued at least two letters of expectations to the District Health Boards.

Joint ASMS-DHB Quality and Patient Safety Improvement Plan

November 2011

This plan was a key outcome of the 2010-2011 MECA negotiations process

The Business Case: Securing a Sustainable Senior Medical and Dental Officer Workforce in New Zealand

November 2010

Jointly developed by the DHBs and ASMS, this document provides a blueprint for the future direction of a clinically and financially sustainable health system.

Time for Quality

August 2008

The Time for Quality agreement was developed between the ASMS and the 21 DHBs with the support of the Minister of Health.

In Good Hands

Report from Ministerial Task Group on Clinical Leadership, 2009

The In Good Hands report recommends introducing comprehensive clinical leadership in DHBs
(Minister of Health's Media release).

Joint Agreement between ASMS and GPNZ (formerly IPAC)

ASMS and GPNZ's statement of agreed necessities for the Health System.

Clinical Governance Development Index in DHBs

Results of the member survey as per Robin Gauld's presentation to ASMS' Conference 2010

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