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

NZ health care has a climate change problem

Other News 17 June 2019 Will Harvie - Stuff

The health care sector may be as bad as the aviation industry when it comes to greenhouse gases and pollution. The anaesthetic gases released every year by one New Zealand hospital have the carbon footprint of 500 return flights between New Zealand and London, University of Auckland researchers have estimated. One hour’s use of a commonly administered anaesthetic, desflurane, has the carbon footprint equivalent of driving a car about 370 kilometres, it was estimated in The Lancet. More than 95 …

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‘Institutional racism’ is blocking Pacific and Māori access to health care, doctor says

Other News 17 June 2019 Damian Rowe - Stuff

A doctor believes “institutional racism” in the health system is leading to worse outcomes for Pacific Island patients. Invercargill-based general surgeon Dr George Ngaei​ said Pasifika people weren’t getting the same access to treatment once bowel cancer gets past the first stage of basic treatment. Ngaei, an advocate for Pasifika health, is the chairman of the Pacific Advisory and Cultural Trust, which is a community health service. The state of Māori health, described as a humanitarian crisis by one expert, is already under investigation by the Waitangi Tribunal. Ngaei believes …

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Thousands of prisoners’ mental health and addiction needs addressed with $128m from $1.9b Budget funding

Other News 17 June 2019 Derek Cheng - New Zealand Herald

An extra 2300 prisoners will have access to mental health treatment and 200 more will have alcohol and drug treatment as a result of funding in Budget 2019. The $128.3 million boost for offenders in prison and in the community is part of the $1.9 billion package for mental health and drug addiction services that was the centrepiece of last month’s Wellbeing Budget. Properly treating mental health and drug addiction conditions is considered a major factor in reducing reoffending; 61 …

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Crown monitor appointed to help manage Canterbury DHB deficit

Other News 17 June 2019 Cate Broughton - Stuff

Service cuts should be expected after the appointment of a Crown monitor to the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), a board member warns. Dr Lester Levy, a former chairman of Waitemata, Auckland, and Counties Manukau DHBs, will start in the role immediately to help the CDHB climb out of a forecast $103.4 million deficit – the largest of any DHB in the country. Health Minister David Clark met with the board in Christchurch on Thursday to deliver the news. Read more here:

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‘They look for a scapegoat’: a surgeon’s battle to clear his name

Other News 17 June 2019 Joanna Moorhead - The Guardian

When a patient died after a delay in treatment, surgeon David Sellu was jailed for 15 months. Now, with his conviction quashed, he reveals how he found himself in the line of fire. It was a winter evening at a hospital just outside London and colorectal surgeon David Sellu’s clinic was busy. But when a fellow doctor, an orthopaedic surgeon, asked him if he would see one of his patients, Sellu didn’t hesitate to say yes. Which is how, an …

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Physician leaders call for end to violence in Honduras

Other News 14 June 2019 World Medical Association

The World Medical Association has called on the President of Honduras to bring to an immediate end the use of violence against protesters striking against the government’s health and education reforms. The protests, led largely by doctors and teachers against the privatization of education and public health services, have resulted in a national strike and violent clashes between police and protesters. Now the President of the WMA, Dr. Leonid Eidelman, has written to the President of Honduras, Mr Juan Orlando …

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Acute demand driving deficits

ASMS News 13 June 2019 Media Release - ASMS

Pressuring District Health Boards to reduce their deficits will exacerbate the critical shortfall being experienced in public hospitals dealing with significant increased acute demand, says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “Health Minister David Clark acknowledges DHBs are under pressure but says he expects them to get closer to break-even financial positions,” Mr Powell says. “This is unrealistic in a climate of increasing acute demand and constrained funding increases.” “Hospital specialist members are reporting …

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Tooth decay prevention would save surgeries – dentists

Other News 13 June 2019 Radio New Zealand - Morning Report

The Dental Association says if the government spent more on preventing tooth decay in children it would save millions in hospital costs as well as sparing families a lot of pain and stress. Latest figures show it cost more than $22 million to have nearly nine thousand children treated under general anaesthetic for dental work. Dental healthcare recieved no funding in the government’s Wellbeing Budget and Health Minister David Clark was not available to be interviewed on Thursday. The Dental …

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Wanaka midwives welcome news of maternity hub

Other News 13 June 2019 Radio New Zealand - Morning Report

A Wanaka midwives support group is welcoming news a Maternal and Child Hub will be set up in the town by early next year. This week a Wanaka mother gave birth on the floor of a midwife’s office after unexpectedly going into labour at 4am. Southern District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming told RNZ the situation could have been avoided because the midwife’s office was in the same building as a DHB medical centre. But it turned out the …

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SDHB fourth in country for deficit

Other News 13 June 2019 Mike Houlahan - Otago Daily Times

The Southern District Health Board has the fourth-highest deficit of the country’s 20 DHBs, new figures show. The Ministry of Health yesterday released the latest statements of DHB performance, which showed the SDHB’s year to date result was a $24.3million deficit, $12.5million over budget. That was $2.1million worse than the previous month and much of that result was due to the costs incurred by paying senior doctors to provide cover during the five-day strike by members of the New Zealand …

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