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.

  • News

Spiralling DHB deficits prove the pie is too small

ASMS News 17 January 2020 ASMS Media Release

Reports that DHB deficits are set to blow out even further this year are yet more proof that underfunding is bringing hospitals to their knees, says the new Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, Sarah Dalton. A New Zealand Herald report – “Sheer Incompetence: DHBs continue financial nosedive” – says new figures from the Ministry of Health show the financial situation for DHBs is continuing to deteriorate and the overall DHB deficit is expected to rise …

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Kia ora koutou – a quick look at the year ahead

ASMS News 17 January 2020 ASMS

Ngā mihi o te tau hou I hope those of you who were able to take a holiday over the Christmas/New Year period enjoyed the break and managed to find some good weather. For those of you who had to work through, I hope you can take much-needed time-off over the summer or later in the year. We are all back on deck at ASMS and there are a few things we wanted to share with you ahead of what …

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Bushfire smoke research will help doctors – AMA

Other News 17 January 2020 Australian Medical Association

The Australian Medical Association says the findings of new bushfire smoke research will provide people with better knowledge of prevention measures and empower doctors with better clinical solutions to care for communities affected by future extreme bushfires and other air quality emergencies. Australia’s Health Minister, Greg Hunt, has announced $5 million funding for research into both the physiological and mental health impacts of prolonged exposure to bushfire smoke on people and whole communities after weeks of warnings about air quality. …

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‘When do I get to see the doctor?’ A senior doctor on gender and medicine

Other News 16 January 2020 Ellen O'Dwyer - Stuff

After 30 years in the medical profession, Ruth Large is still being asked is she’s the doctor. Large is an emergency physician working at both Thames and Waikato hospital, she also works as clinical director of information services at Waikato DHB. She’s got a clinical role in a small rural hospital which she loves, a role in a big emergency department, and the rest of her time is spent looking at digital health care delivery. Decades on, recent reports have shown disparities …

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Emergency department staff slam DHB for ‘refusing’ to release report

Other News 15 January 2020 Stuff

Emergency department workers at Hutt Hospital say they are being kept in the dark over a report concerning an incident in which four staff were bashed. More than 40 nurses and doctors have signed a letter calling on the Hutt Valley District Health Board to release the findings of the independent report completed last year. Staff  say the letter has gone unanswered since August. Read story here    

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Health boards struggle to recover overseas patient debt

Other News 9 January 2020 Stuff

Overseas visitors have racked up millions of dollars in treatment bills in New Zealand hospitals over the past five years – only a portion of which is likely to have been recovered.  Healthcare provided to ineligible patients included emergency department admissions, outpatient appointments and acute inpatient admissions for a range of conditions. Read more

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Whakaari / White Island: Whakatāne Hospital staff take stress leave

Other News 19 December 2019 Radio New Zealand

Whakatāne hospital doctors, nurses and specialists are taking stress leave after the horror of last week’s deadly eruption at Whakaari / White Island. Local GPs, health boards around the country and specialists from Australia are stepping up to help out. For those still alive after being caught in the eruption, 14 remain in four hospitals around New Zealand, with 10 still in a critical condition. Another 13 were transferred to hospitals in Australia, where one died. Whakatāne Hospital pastoral care …

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Hospital planners need to ‘listen up’

ASMS News 18 December 2019 Media Release - ASMS

The senior doctors’ union says if New Zealand wants public hospitals which are fit for purpose into the future, DHBs and planners need to listen to the experts who work in them. A Stuff article reports that senior medical staff at Taranaki Base Hospital are concerned the emergency department in the new $300 million wing will not be able to cope in 20 years. After several years of political neglect, there are more hospital facility rebuilds getting underway and …

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Air pollution in NSW is a public health emergency

Other News 17 December 2019 Climate and Health Alliance

27 health and medical groups in Australia, which includes a number of joint Australia/New Zealand organisations, have released a  statement saying that air pollution from bushfires in New South Wales is a public health emergency. They are calling on the federal and state governments to take action. High levels of air pollution are expected to continue. Read the statement here    

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French doctors threaten to quit over hospitals crisis

Other News 17 December 2019 The Guardian

More than 600 French hospital doctors have threatened to resign if the government does not increase health funding, as striking medics prepare to take to the streets across the country. The doctors warn that budget cuts, bed closures and staff shortages are bringing France’s health system to the brink of collapse and putting patients’ lives at risk. Read more in The Guardian

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