ASMS is concerned by the number of senior doctors hired on fixed term rather than permanent employment contracts in district health boards (DHBs) in the past two years. “An ASMS survey found that 20% had been taken on under fixed term contracts, which we find disturbingly high,” says Ian Powell, ASMS Executive Director. The full media release is available here.
The latest issue of the ASMS magazine, The Specialist, is now available online. In this issue we look at the formation of the ASMS 25 years ago, the shortage of palliative medicine specialists, the role of clinical leadership in health IT, and how one DHB is encouraging specialists to take sabbatical leave. We also consider the appointment of a new Health Minister, hear from one of our longstanding branch officers and report on the ASMS Annual Conference.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says all pregnant women will be routinely screened for diabetes as part of new national guidelines. Following an extensive clinician-led process over the last two years, the Ministry of Health has compiled national guidelines which DHBs are expected to implement over the next 18 months. Dr Coleman’s media release is available here.
The Government denies it is underfunding the health sector, as doctors and nurses sound alarms over the possibility of further budget pressure, reports Radio New Zealand’s Checkpoint programme. The full item can be heard here.
Hutt Valley DHB is in the grips of a management crisis over cost-cutting and merging, with the chief executive and the chairwoman barely talking, reports the Dominion Post newspaper. It understands the relationship has become so bad that chief executive Graham Dyer and chairwoman Virginia Hope are now in mediation, with sources describing the critical relationship as ‘tense’ and ‘strained’. The full article can be read here.
The 26th ASMS Annual Conference was held at Te Papa in Wellington on 27 and 28 November 2014, with ASMS branch officers from around the country in attendance.
National President Hein Stander spoke about the relationship between distributive clinical leadership, a joyful workforce and compassionate health care. He was followed by Marise Stuart from the New Zealand Medical Students Association, who talked about the need to invest in a culture of care and teamwork.
The conference voted unanimously to award life membership …
For many years now Professor Martin McKee from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has been shining light on the funding of health care around the world and the consequences for individuals and their communities. In August, he addressed some of New Zealand’s most senior doctors on the evidence for government investment in health care at a special conference to mark 25 years of the ASMS: The argument for investment in public health.