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 – ASMS News

Senior doctors welcome new Medical Council Chair

13 February 2019 Media Release - ASMS

The senior doctors’ union welcomes the election of Dr Curtis Walker as the Medical Council’s new chair. The Medical Council of New Zealand announced yesterday that Dr Walker, a renal and general physician at MidCentral District Health Board, is to take over the role from Auckland surgeon Andrew Connolly ( Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS), thanked Mr Connolly for his leadership of the Medical Council. “His dedication to the medical profession coupled …

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Opinion: Ian Powell – Leadership needed on safe staffing

12 February 2019 Opinon: - Ian Powell

When Health Minister David Clark was publicly criticised for dropping a requirement on his health ministry to publish the results of a set of narrow and misleading health targets in public hospitals, I defended him. The Minister’s decision to drop this reporting showed a willingness to engage in a more thoughtful and effective fashion with his portfolio, which included exploring more robust alternatives. Politically-driven targets cause potentially dangerous unintended consequences, especially in an environment of sustained underfunding. They are highly …

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Hospital specialists under increasing pressure due to under-estimated strength of strikes

4 February 2019 Media Release - ASMS

“Health bosses have under-estimated both the level of support for the ongoing strikes by resident (junior) doctors and the impact on hospital specialists who are shouldering heavy workloads as a result,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). Resident medical officers (RMOs) who belong to the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) have walked off the job twice over stalled negotiations on a new collective employment agreement, and plan to strike again for 48 hours from …

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Waitemata DHB survey highlights severe hospital specialist shortages and stress

1 February 2019 Media Release - ASMS

“A survey of senior doctors at the Waitemata District Health Board highlights the stress felt by heads of department as they try to make do with too few staff”, says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists. “Senior doctors are doing their best to hold departments together as they feel the effects of a long-standing failure to properly invest in workforce training and specialist retention, but the strains are real. “It is significant the results of …

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Research highlights hospital specialist shortage

31 January 2019 Media Release - ASMS

New Zealand needs at least another 1000 medical specialists to meet our growing health needs. That is the finding of two separate assessments of New Zealand’s specialist workforce needs in a new research paper published by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). In one assessment, the paper compares New Zealand’s specialist workforce capacity with other countries in respect of access to hospital specialist services and patient outcomes. The second assessment summarises findings from surveys of seven DHBs’ heads of …

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Solution to district health board financial deficits rests with the Government

22 January 2019 ASMS - Press Release

“The solution to district health boards’ financial deficits rests with the Government.” This was response to the published report that almost all DHBs were tracking towards financial deficits for the financial year ending 30 June from Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). Read the New Zealand Herald story here: “There are three main reasons for these deficits.  The first is the effects of eight successive years of underfunding that the current Government inherited.  The …

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Wellington Anniversary Day

18 January 2019 ASMS

The ASMS national office will be closed on Monday 21 January for Wellington Anniversary and will reopen on Tuesday 22 January. If you have an urgent query over this period, please email and someone will get back to you.

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Wellington GPs to strike again

17 January 2019 ASMS media release

GPs at Wellington’s Ora Toa Health practices will strike again tomorrow (FRIDAY) for a full day because of the employer’s stubborn refusal to include dentists in the collective agreement. This is the second full-day strike – the first was on Christmas Eve – and follows a series of shorter rolling strikes last month. Read more about them here: Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira has rejected a further compromise offered by the union, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). …

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Dear David – A new year challenge

7 January 2019 ASMS media release

Health Minister David Clark could make a good start to 2019 by admitting there is a crisis in the specialist workforce, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) Executive Director Ian Powell says. Mr Powell says specialists working in public hospitals are disappointed Dr Clark has yet to commit to developing a safe staffing accord to address this precarious situation. Mr Powell’s article, entitled ‘Dear David, There’s a Hole in the SMO Bucket’ has been published in the current edition of …

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Christmas Eve strike at five Wellington practices

23 December 2018 Media Release - ASMS

Doctors at five Wellington practices will strike for a full day tomorrow in the final action in a set of rolling strikes. Further strikes are likely in the new year because of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira’s continued refusal to allow dentist employees to join the collective agreement, says Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) Senior Industrial Officer Lloyd Woods. The two dentists’ GP colleagues at Ora Toa Health practices, Cannons Creek, Mungavin, Porirua, Takapuwahia and Poneke, took part in …

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