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

Bowel screening programme misses too many cancers, says expert

Other News 22 August 2018 Elspeth McLean - NZ Herald

The national bowel screening programme is likely to miss about a third of cancers present in paticipants, screening authority University of Otago Associate Professor Brian Cox says. His estimate follows the Ministry of Health Official Information Act release of provisional data from the Waitemata bowel screening pilot which shows 66 participants were diagnosed with cancer between programme screenings. Eighteen of these people have since died from colorectal cancer. The bulk of the cancers (56) and deaths (17) involved those who …

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Acute services building delays cause ‘significant pressure’

Other News 22 August 2018 Oliver Lewis - Stuff

Delays to a Christchurch hospital described as the biggest Government project in the post-quake rebuild are heaping pressure on a health system already stretched to capacity, health board members say. Contractor CPB started construction on the acute services building in early 2016. Documents released under the Official Information Act (OIA) show the original due date for the $463 million project was July 3, 2018. That date keeps being pushed back. CPB has filed at least 52 extension of time claims, a report prepared for the …

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Government needs to stop break-up of forensic pathology service and listen to the clinical experts

ASMS News 22 August 2018 Media Release - ASMS

“The Government needs to listen closely to the small group of highly trained clinical experts working in the country’s national forensic pathology service, who are warning of unintended consequences in years to come if the service is dismantled,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). He was commenting on an interview this morning with forensic pathologist Dr Paul Morrow about planned changes to the national forensic pathology service: Forensic pathologists have warned …

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Crisis looms in NZ Forensic Pathology Service

Other News 22 August 2018 Nine to Noon - Radio New Zealand

Fears of a collapse in the service which carries out the majority of post-mortem examinations – including all homicides in New Zealand. The Ministry of Justice has announced more funding for the country’s small forensic pathology service but leading forensic pathologist, Dr Paul Morrow says a crisis is still looming. He’s concerned about the planned restructure of the service and also the lack of autopsy training for new anatomic pathologists. He joins Lynn to talk through his concerns about the …

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Homicides could be missed under pathology restructure – expert

Other News 21 August 2018 Alexandra Nelson - Newshub

Forensic scientists say homicides could be missed if a Government proposal to give cases to local pathologists goes ahead. The Ministry of Justice wants complex cases managed by local coronial pathologists. Last week, Justice Minister Andrew Little told the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists the restructure would go ahead, despite protest. This restructure reverses the 2005 decision to consolidate the work in a single national forensic pathology service. Auckland District Health Board oversees the national service, which includes four forensic …

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National forensics plan raises miscarriage of justice fears

Other News 21 August 2018 Colin Williscroft - Stuff

Forensic pathologists are concerned a proposed restructure of the national forensic pathology service will lead to miscarriages of justice and homicides being missed, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says. It says the service is on the brink of collapse, a situation worsened by Justice Minister Andrew Little refusing to intervene over a restructure proposed by the Ministry of Justice. Little and the ministry have rejected the claims, with Little describing the claims made by association executive director Ian Powell’s as inaccurate and “a total exaggeration”. …

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We’re in a new age of obesity. How did it happen? You’d be surprised

Other News 20 August 2018 George Monbiot - The Guardian

It’s not that we’re eating more, that we exercise less, or that we lack willpower. The shaming of overweight people has to stop. When I saw the photograph I could scarcely believe it was the same country. A picture of Brighton beach in 1976, featured in the Guardian a few weeks ago, appeared to show an alien race. Almost everyone was slim. I mentioned it on social media, then went on holiday. …

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Expertise of clinicians needs to be valued in health sector

Other News 20 August 2018 Media release - Council of Trade Unions

The Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sam Huggard said today that unions were supporting a public health system that listened to and valued the advice of clinicians, in response to the Association of Salaried Medical Specialist’s concerns about our pathology services. The concern relates to the proposed breaking up of the national forensic pathology – a small national service that engages 7 specialist forensic pathologists – by the Ministry of Justice, in favour of 4 regional services. “Specialists are …

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Mortality rates in the UK: why are improvements in life expectancy slowing down?

Other News 20 August 2018 The King's Fund

Life expectancy in the UK has improved steadily over the past century; public health measures – such as childhood immunisation and health screening – medical advances – for example, in the treatment of heart disease and cancer – and lifestyle changes – including reductions in the number of people who smoke – have helped life expectancy to increase from 55 to 78 for men and from 59 to 82 for women between 1920 and 2010. Since then, however, the rate …

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More transparency around health funding formula needed

Other News 20 August 2018 Media Release - University of Otago

University of Otago researchers are calling for more transparency and dialogue around the formula used to distribute funding between the country’s 20 district health boards, integral to the functioning of the New Zealand health system. In research published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal, investigating the formula through the lens of the print media, the three researchers Professor Robin Gauld, Dr Erin Penno and Aaron Chester say that while the formula is a “lightning rod” for frustrations over financial strains …

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