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.

  • About ASMS

Policy Charter

The following policy charter forms the policy framework of the ASMS. It was first adopted by the Third Annual Conference (1 November 1991), has been subsequently amended and can only be changed by resolution of Annual Conference or postal ballot in accordance with the Rules.

State Funded Health Service

That the Association support continuation of an adequately state funded health service.

That all New Zealanders should have equal access, regardless of income or financial circumstances, to the state funded service.

That the public health service provide a comprehensive range of accessible quality services.

That different services and regions of the state funded health service operate in cooperation with each other rather than in commercial competition.

That the Association not support the privatisation or contracting out of state funded health services unless it can be confidently demonstrated that it will enhance effectiveness and the quality of patient care and services.

Employment Contracts

That, wherever possible, all contracts of service for medical/dental practitioners should be underpinned by collective employment contracts. That the Association support the right of salaried medical/dental practitioners and the rest of the salaried/waged health workforce to be covered by collective employment contracts.

That the Association support any member under pressure to sign an unfair, unreasonable or oppressive employment contract.

That health employers should recognise the importance of continuing education leave for salaried medical/dental practitioners and provide reimbursement of actual and reasonable associated expenses.

That the Association note the recommendation of the Committee of Presidents of the Royal Australasian Colleges on non-patient contact time and believes that a significant amount of contracted hours be allocated to research, continuing education, other professional responsibilities, and administrative responsibilities.

That the Association support the right of other health professionals to adequate time and resources for professional development.

That employment contracts for members should include the right to participate in an employer subsidised superannuation scheme.

That health employers should reimburse all actual and reasonable employment expenses of members.

Industrial Democracy and Management of Change

That the health workforce through their unions have the right to be actively and positively involved in decision-making relevant to their areas of work and responsibility, including in the management of change.

Infectious Diseases and other Workplace Hazards

That health employers should be responsible for the provision of insurance, protective clothing, appropriate technical equipment and where appropriate immunisation for those workers who may come into contact with infectious diseases and other workplace hazards.

Defending Members from Public Attacks

That the Association be prepared to publicly defend members from unfair and generalised public criticisms regardless of whom the employer is and who made the criticism.

Affiliations

That the Association affiliate to both the New Zealand Medical Association and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions.

Provision of Service in a Competitive Environment

That doctors and dentists must at all times regard their duty to a patient or patients collectively, as overriding any loyalty to an employer or other health provider entity. In particular, doctors and dentists must not allow the commercial interest of an employer or health provider to interfere with:

  • free exercise of clinical judgement in determining the best ways of meeting the needs of individual patients or the community; or
  • cooperation with such other health providers as may be in the patient’s interest; or
  • the completion of any treatment or package of care; or
  • the publication of regular and honest reports of their service provisions, aims and achievements.

Doctors and dentists must not compete with each other or allow the units that employ them to compete with each other, against the public interest. Standards of care should not be compromised in order to meet financial or commercial targets whether these are set by a doctor or dentist personally or by an organisation.