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

Ministry’s primary care appointee feels at home at ‘heart of system’

Other News 21 June 2018 Virginia McMillan - New Zealand Doctor

Juliet Rumball-Smith has worked in, researched on and built partnerships with primary care, all of which has cemented her view that it’s the heart of the health system. “All the evidence points to [care provided in the community] being better for the patients and for the system as a whole,” adds Dr Rumball-Smith, who is soon to start at the Ministry of Health as clinical chief advisor with a focus on primary healthcare. Not yet ready to comment on the …

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Dramatic rise in acute hospital patients a legacy of years of under-funding

ASMS News 21 June 2018 Media Release - ASMS

“Years of under-funding the public health system and other social services have resulted in a dramatic increase in acute hospital admissions,” says Lyndon Keene, Director of Policy and Research at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “Health Ministry figures show acute public hospital admissions increased by 20% over the seven years to 2017, and our hospital emergency departments are being inundated. Despite increased use of primary health care services, there is still significant unmet need. The system is stressed …

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Hunt and May apologise for Gosport hospital deaths

Other News 21 June 2018 The Guardian - Haroon Siddique, Caroline Davies

The UK government has apologised to relatives of hospital patients who died as a result of being given life-shortening opioid drugs without medical justification and said criminal charges could follow. An independent inquiry, published on Wednesday, found that 456 patients died and possibly 200 more had their lives shortened because of the routine practice at Gosport War Memorial hospital. In a statement after prime minister’s questions, the health and social care secretary, 

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ACC adds insult to injury in cavalier response to medical advisors

ASMS News 20 June 2018 Media Release - ASMS

“ACC has added insult to injury by planning to cut medical advisory staffing and then responding in a very cavalier way to our members’ quite reasonable requests for improvements to their collective employment agreement,” says Lloyd Woods, Senior Industrial Officer at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “It beggars belief that ACC, the organisation that prides itself on putting people-before-process, won’t agree to include a statement on the importance of wellbeing in the collective agreement. Why on earth would …

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Nurses deserve to be paid more

Other News 19 June 2018 Media Release - Green Party

The Green Party said today nurses have historically been underpaid and undervalued and they deserve to be paid more. Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson was commenting after it was announced nurses rejected the DHBs’ latest pay offer in their ballot. “Nurses are totally professional, so for them to reject an offer of 9% over 15 months reveals how undervalued they feel after nine years squeezing by National,” Ms Davidson said. “We support their call for urgent mediation.” “Every day it …

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Minister disappointed nurses reject half-billion dollar offer

Other News 19 June 2018 Media Release - Health Minister David Clark

Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is disappointed that nurses have voted against the District Health Boards’ half-billion dollar offer, the largest made to nurses in more than a decade. “Nurses are a vital part of our health workforce and clearly feel they have been undervalued over the last nine years. Their frustration is understandable. This offer goes a long way to address their pay and staffing concerns, but you cannot fix nine years of underfunding in one pay …

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Nurses a vital part of public health system; health bosses need to step up

ASMS News 18 June 2018 Media Release - ASMS

“It’s up to health bosses now to put aside their point-scoring and knuckle down to the task of reaching an agreement with nurses to avoid national strikes,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). He was commenting on an announcement by the New Zealand Nurses Organisation that the latest DHB MECA offer has been strongly rejected by nurses and that the union is seeking urgent mediation to resolve the issues so two 24-hour national …

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In health care, less is not always more

Other News 14 June 2018 The New York Times - Dhruv Khullar, Austin Frakt

How much you spend on medical care depends on what you get, but also where you get it. Confoundingly to many, the cost of the same procedure on the same patient by the same physician can vary by thousands of dollars depending on whether it’s performed in a hospital, a hospital’s outpatient department, an ambulatory surgical center or a doctor’s office. It can also vary by who’s paying the bill — which insurer or public program. And even for the …

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Medical Council Advisory – consultation on its statement Safe practice in an environment of resource limitation

Other News 14 June 2018 Medical Council of New Zealand

The Medical Council is consulting on its statement Safe practice in an environment of resource limitation (Resource limitation) and would value your feedback. Attached are: The consultation paper explaining our proposed changes to the statement and a list of questions we are seeking input on; Appendix 1 – Draft revised statement on Resource limitation; Appendix 2 – Existing August 2008 statement on Resource limitation. The consultation closes on Friday, 27 July 2018. Please email your feedback to …

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Growing support for cigarette-style warnings on fizzy drinks


A proposal to put “cigarette-style” warnings on sugary drinks in a bid to combat obesity, type 2 diabetes and poor dental health is gaining support from around New Zealand. The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) is pushing for graphic images of rotten teeth to be put on fizzy drink packaging. But the Beverage Council says the proposal is ridiculous and “alarmist”. NZDA spokesman Dr Rob Beaglehole said dentists supported the measure because they were confronted daily with the unnecessary pain …

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