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

Spiralling DHB deficits prove the pie is too small

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

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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Hospital planners need to ‘listen up’

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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Doctors call for urgent reversal of food industry self-policing in battle against obesity

17 December 2019 Media Release - ASMS

Senior hospital doctors are calling on the Health Minister to urgently reverse a decision which allows the food industry to self-regulate efforts to tackle obesity, saying it runs counter to the government’s Wellbeing Budget. Delegates at the annual conference of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists overwhelmingly passed a resolution stating: “The Association abhors the failure of the Minister of Health to regulate the food industry and calls on him to immediately pass regulations that will prevent dental caries and …

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Whakaari tragedy: message of support to NZ specialists

12 December 2019 ASMOF

ASMS  has received a message of support from our colleagues on the other side of the Tasman. The President of the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation Geoff Dobb said: “We have been following the events unfolding in NZ from this side of the Tasman with great sadness, but also admiration for the emergency response teams and the medical staff caring for the survivors. The workload for your plastic surgeons, intensivists, anaesthetists and others who support them must be extreme, especially …

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Further evidence of doctor burnout and workload pressures

11 December 2019 ASMS Media Release

The senior doctors’ union, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, is welcoming a report from the Medical Protection Society which provides further evidence of doctor burnout and high workload pressures. The “Breaking the burnout cycle” report shows 44% of 300 doctors surveyed are not satisfied with their work/life balance, and 41% have considered leaving the profession over issues of wellbeing. A corresponding survey of dental professionals reveals similar trends. ASMS represents senior doctors and dentists in New Zealand’s …

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ASMS message to DHB Chairs and appointees

9 December 2019 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) welcomes the District Health Board Chairs and board appointees announced by Health Minister David Clark. “We wish them all the best for their tenure and congratulate them for their dedication to the public health service in agreeing to serve,” ASMS Executive Director Ian Powell says. The appointment of four Māori Chairs is a positive development. There are 13 new Chairs and nearly half of the total 76 appointees are women. The appointees join …

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Electives only half the story

9 December 2019 Media Release - ASMS

A drop in elective procedures is a symptom of a public health system overwhelmed by acute patients surging into hospitals requiring immediate and often life-saving care, says Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) Executive Director Ian Powell. A story (paywalled) in the Herald on Sunday today shows that for the first time in a decade the annual number of elective (pre-planned non-acute procedures) has dropped. The figure is almost 6000 surgeries lower than the previous year. Mr Powell says the …

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WMA protests criminalisation of medical practice

5 December 2019 World Medical Association

The World Medical Association has expressed its deep concern over a law being proposed by the Malaysian Government to imprison or fine physicians if they refuse to provide prescriptions being requested by patients. Read more

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Yawning trans-Tasman salary gap for medical specialists

29 November 2019 ASMS

New research reveals medical specialists in New Zealand’s public hospitals are, on average, earning as much as 60 percent less than their Australian counterparts. The research, conducted by BERL for the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, compared the base 40-hour a week salaries of senior hospital doctors on both sides of the Tasman. “There is no surprise that salaries for medical specialists are higher in Australia than here”, says BERL Research Director Dr Ganesh Nana. “However, the size of the …

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