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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

24 April 2014

A leading authority on health care systems, Professor Martin McKee, who is coming to New Zealand in August, has co-written a paper in the latest issue of Eurohealth on child health services in Europe and the need for a comprehensive strategy to bring about improvements. Professor McKee, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medical and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, and Ingrid Wolfe, who is a paediatric public health consultant and co-chair of the British Association for Children and Adolescent Public Health, write that while child health in Europe has improved dramatically in recent decades, the health problems affecting children are changing and all countries are struggling to adapt.

Professor McKee will talk to some of New Zealand’s most senior doctors at a special conference in Wellington on 26 August to commemorate the 25th birthday of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

24 April 2014

International medical graduates (IMGs) could face a higher bar to work in the UK after GMC-commissioned research concluded the assessment that allows them to practise there may be too lenient. The research, published in the BMJ found that graduates of the Professional and Linguistics Assessment (PLAB) had poorer clinical knowledge and skills than UK graduates on average, according to their performance in the MRCGP exam. In response, the RCGP has recommended the GMC review the PLAB ‘as a matter of urgency’, saying it was ‘in the interests of patient safety’.

23 April 2014

A former NHS Trust chair, Roy Lilley, says everyone is talking about the NHS needing to change – but no one can tell him what it needs to change from, and to what. Writing on the blog, he says he’d support modernisation, rejuvenation and overhaul of the NHS, but not changes to its basic tenets. “If the case for 'change' is being made around the issue of running costs and austerity, how much more money would be wasted on change,” he asks. “Isn't 'change' code for cut, shrink or diminish?”

23 April 2014

I am a senior physician with over six decades of experience who has observed his share of critical illness—but only from the doctor’s perspective. That changed suddenly and disastrously on the morning of June 27, 2013, ten days after my ninetieth birthday, when I fell down the stairs in my home, broke my neck, and very nearly died. Since then, I have made an astonishing recovery, in the course of which I learned how it feels to be a helpless patient close to death.


23 April 2014

It all sounded so simple: a new phone number for urgent medical advice. But from its implementation the idea began to unravel. Gareth Iacobucci examines what’s next for 111. General practitioners are on a collision course with senior civil servants over plans to give patients who dial the government’s 111 medical triage helpline the right to demand contact from a GP at their registered practice, an investigation by the BMJ has found.

23 April 2014

We welcome any feedback on the contents of the 5th issue for 2014 of ASMS Direct, our national electronic publication. This issue covers the following matters: More questions than answers – Southern dispute; April Falls quiz – managing the risk of falling; ASMS homepage news items.

23 April 2014

Two people writing about what it is like to work in medicine today have offered contrasting views of the profession, with one describing it as miserable and humiliating, and the other saying it is still a great career choice.

22 April 2014

A group of overseas doctors who can’t get the final qualification they need to register in New Zealand have complained to the Human Rights Commission, saying they are perfectly placed to help with a shortage of hospital specialists here. The Commission has confirmed its legal team is assessing a complaint of discrimination. Ian Powell, the Executive Director of ASMS, told One News the doctors had been treated unfairly and put in an invidious position.

22 April 2014

ACC is facing ongoing criticism for the way it handles private information. ACC's policy of getting clients to sign a wide-ranging privacy waiver has been found in breach of the law, with the Dunedin District Court ruling just over a week ago that ACC had no right to decline entitlements because a client not sign the waiver. Subsequently, Helen Kelly from the Council of Trade Unions and Karolin Potter, a Christchurch community board member and Justice of the Peace, told Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme that they had been told of ACC releasing full case files - including highly sensitive information - to potential employers. Helen Kelly says people applying for jobs are in no position to refuse to sign a privacy waiver.

22 April 2014

Queensland's senior doctors will have an opportunity to vote in the next few weeks on an in-principle agreement which the state government hopes will end a contracts dispute - but organisations representing specialists says the Government still needs to address a number of key elements before the contracts will be put to doctors. Dr Tony Sara, Keep Our Doctors spokesperson and President of the Australian Salaried Medical Officers' Federation, says doctors have been very clear throughout the dispute that they will not sign contracts that put their patients at risk. For all Queensland contract dispute updates click here.


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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