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.

Loading Events
  • Event - National
  • This event has passed.

ASMS 30th Anniversary Conference

Date: June 27, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the formation of ASMS we will be holding a special commemorative conference on the theme of why a public health service is worth fighting for on Thursday 27 June in Wellington (Te Papa).

One of the world’s leading authorities on the operation of health systems, Professor Martin McKee, will give the keynote address to the conference. Professor McKee is from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, read his profile below.

A second international speaker will be Dr Otmar Kloiber, Secretary General of the World Medical Association, who will speak on medical migration, in the context of the conference theme.

The Minister of Health Hon Dr David Clark will also address the conference.

See the conference programme here.

This special conference should not be confused with the ASMS Annual Conference which will be held in Wellington on Thursday-Friday 28-29 November


Keynote speakers

Professor Martin McKee

The keynote speaker will be Professor Martin McKee, one of the world’s leading researchers on the operation of health care systems in times of economic austerity. He last delivered a series of addresses to ASMS members and health sector leaders during a visit to New Zealand to mark the Association’s 25th anniversary in 2014, and we are delighted to be hosting him again.

Professor McKee (CBE MD DSc MSc FRCP(Lond) FRCP (Edin) FRCPI FFPH FMedSci) qualified in medicine in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with subsequent training in internal medicine and public health. He is Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he founded the European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition, a WHO Collaborating Centre.

He is also research director of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, and Past President of the European Public Health Association. He has published more than 1060 academic papers and 44 books, and his contributions to European health policy have been recognised by, among others, election to the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and the US National Academy of Medicine, by the award of honorary doctorates from Hungary, The Netherlands, and Sweden, and visiting professorships at universities in Europe and Asia, the 2003 Andrija Stampar medal for contributions to European public health. He has also received the Alwyn Smith Prize for outstanding contributions to the health of the population in 2014, and in 2015 the Donabedian International Aware for contributions to quality of care. In 2005 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

He has been profiled in both the Lancet in 2013 ( and the BMJ in 2015 (paywalled: You can also follow him on Twitter: @martinmckee.

The June issue of The Specialist magazine will include an interview with Professor McKee, and a video of his address to the Anniversary Conference will also be available as soon as possible following the Conference.


Dr Otmar Kloiber

The Secretary General of the World Medical Association (WMA), Dr Otmar Kloiber, will be attending the Conference and delivering an address on medical migration in the context of the conference theme.

Dr Kloiber has been an international medical relations and collaboration leader for more than 20 years, with expertise in medical ethics, health policy, government affairs and management of relationships with patients, other health professionals, manufacturers and other medical stakeholders. He has been the chief executive of the WMA since 2005.

Prior to his move to the WMA, between 1997 and 2005, he served as Deputy Secretary General and Secretary of the German Medical Association. During his tenure there, he was selected as a member of the Study Commission on the Law and Ethics of Modern Medicine of the German Bundestag (Parliament), 14th electoral term.

Between 1991 and 2005, he was also a key liaison to the Standing Committee of European Doctors, the WMA, the International Conference of Medical Chambers, the European Forum of the World Health Organization and individual national medical associations. In addition, for six years, he was the foreign relations advisor to the German Medical Association, focusing on international health and social policy reforms and construction of the German Health Network.

Dr Kloiber holds an MD (1984) and PhD (1986) from the University of Cologne, was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota and was a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research, engaged in pathophysiological studies on brain energy metabolism and cerebral blood flow.

In 2006, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Victor Babes University for Medicine and Pharmaceutics, Timisoara, Romania. He was appointed Clinical Professor in Health Administration at the Brooks College of Health, University of North Florida 2009 to 2013.

Dr Samantha Murton

Dr Samantha Murton was voted President of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners in 2018. She is the third female to hold this position in the College’s 45 year history.

Dr Murton works as a GP in Wellington, having entered general practice after spending some time working as a surgical registrar. She was awarded Distinguished Fellowship of the College in 2016.

Dr Murton provided guidance for the College’s General Practice Education Programme as National Clinical Lead Medical Director in 2009, and later became the organisation’s first Medical Director in 2013.

In addition to her work with the College, Dr Murton has roles in a number of GP representative groups and research projects. Her more recent commitments have included being the South Pacific representative on the World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) Working Party for Women In Medicine, and investigating bullying behaviour in general practice, and the use of art in medicine.

Dr Murton has been involved with medical education for many years in the General Practice Education Programme and as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago. Dr Murton is the Trainee Intern (TI) Convenor for medical students at the Wellington campus of the University, a role which involves liaising with practices and more than 110 students annually to coordinate six-week general practice placements.


Te Papa, Oceania Room
55 Cable Street, Wellington, New Zealand