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.

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Waikato DHB boss Nigel Murray’s spending questioned

Other News 24 July 2017 Aaron Leaman, Elton Rikihana Smallman - NZ Herald

Waikato District Health Board chief executive Nigel Murray is under scrutiny over alleged unauthorised spending. It’s understood board members were advised of the spending irregularities at a special meeting on Wednesday. DHB chairman Bob Simcock on Sunday declined to detail what was discussed at the meeting and would only say the meeting related to a “confidential human resource issue”. “The whole meeting was protected by legal and professional privilege, so I can’t say at this time anything more than that.” Murray’s response was limited also, saying on …

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Investigation into Waikato DHB chief executive’s expenses looming

Other News 24 July 2017 Natalie Akoorie - New Zealand Herald

A district health board chief executive is to be investigated over alleged unauthorised spending, the Weekend Herald has learned. Waikato DHB chief executive Dr Nigel Murray is understood to have been informed of the pending investigation. Board chairman Bob Simcock declined to comment on the situation but a source close to the DHB told the Weekend Herald concerns about Murray’s expenses were first raised by staff last year. Murray, who took up the $560,000-plus job in July 2014, came under fire in December last …

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Is the Canterbury District Health Board getting a fair go?

Other News 24 July 2017 By ASMS

Tensions between Canterbury health leaders and their ministry bosses have reached boiling point with a highly public spat which this week saw front-line doctors join the fray. Mediation looms as possibly the only way to resolve the complex long-running and bitter funding dispute. Read the article here:

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Over a million contacts made to Telehealth

Other News 24 July 2017 Media Release - Health Minister Jonathan Coleman

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says over a million contacts have now been made to the country’s telehealth provider for advice on health issues as well as mental health and addiction support. “The National Telehealth Service operates a number of significant health information services and this week hit a million contacts in just under 20 months, with 1,002,952 contacts this morning,” says Dr Coleman. “This includes over 600,000 contacts to Healthline, 141,000 to mental health and addiction services, 150,000 to Quitline …

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Canterbury GP bosses accuse politicians of ‘underhand tactics’ against CDHB

Other News 21 July 2017 Jamie Small - Stuff

Three primary health organisation (PHO) bosses have accused government staff of “underhand tactics” in “attacking” Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) members and employees over funding. Professor Les Toop of Pegasus Health, Dr Lorna Martin of Rural Canterbury PHO and Dr Angus Chambers of Christchurch PHO came out swinging in a statement directed at politicians and senior Ministry of Health (MOH) staff released on Thursday. They called for an “immediate, independent, comprehensive and transparent review of Canterbury’s overall funding”. Read the article here:

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CMDHB portraying itself as ‘the great rescuer’: ASMS

Other News 21 July 2017 Fiona Thomas - NZ Doctor

ASMS Executive Director Ian Powell says the new regime at Counties Manukau DHB seems to want to portray itself as ‘the great rescuer’ but to do that, there needs to be something to rescue. What went before is being demonised and Ko Awatea has become a victim of that, he told New Zealand Doctor magazine.  The full article by Fiona Thomas in New Zealand Doctor follows: Counties Manukau DHB bosses are blaming the $9 million to be spent expanding research …

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Lee Mathias surprised and saddened by DHB decisions on Ko Awatea

Other News 21 July 2017 Cliff Taylor - New Zealand Doctor

The former chair of Counties Manukau DHB is questioning the reasons behind the cancel­lation of Ko Awatea’s APAC Forum, describing it as “hugely embarrassing”. Lee Mathias, who was replaced as DHB chair by Lester Levy last December, says she was very sur­prised by the sudden cancellation of the forum, scheduled for 20 September, and the resignation of Ko Awatea director Jonathon Gray last month. She says it is a sad outcome and difficult to understand. The DHB has blamed financial …

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Government message to DHB heads: ‘Keep quiet or else’

ASMS News 20 July 2017 Media Release - ASMS

“Treasury’s release of papers about Canterbury District Health Board’s (CDHB) financial performance appears to have been deliberately designed to intimidate and silence senior DHB officials who have dared to question the adequacy of government funding,” says Angela Belich, Deputy Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “The papers contain repeated criticisms of the performance of the chair, the chief executive and appointed members of the board, and some border on threats to the positions of these individuals, …

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Canterbury medical staff support DHB in face of Treasury criticism

Other News 20 July 2017 ASMS

A group of 500 senior doctors have slammed highly critical Treasury advice about the Canterbury DHB, reports Stuff ( Without warning on Thursday, Treasury published a scathing analysis accusing the CDHB of poor financial performance and using manipulative strategies to gain additional funding.  Following that, the Canterbury Hospitals’ Medical Staff Association (CHMSA) has come out in full support of its board. Other reports of the Treasury’s criticism and subsequent response include:

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Can New Zealand’s hospitals cope with a national bowel screening programme?

Other News 20 July 2017 Cate Broughton - Stuff

Cancer patients will face delays for chemotherapy and radiation services if the Government does not commit to funding treatment of cancers detected by the national bowel screening programme, the Cancer Society says. Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman this week announced the launch of the long-awaited screening programme in Hutt and Wairarapa district health boards (DHBs) as part of a phased roll out across the country over three years. Every year about 3000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with bowel cancer and more than …

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