ASMS

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

Acute demand driving deficits

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 …

Read more »

Health budget barely maintains the status quo

30 May 2019 Media release - ASMS

“On initial analysis of the increase for health in today’s Budget, it is virtually enough to maintain the current level of service overall, but district health board funding falls short by around $300 million,” says Lyndon Keene, Director of Policy and Research for the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “More money has been directed at community-based services, including an additional $61 million for National Mental Health Services, which is managed by the Ministry of Health.” “However, the estimated shortfall …

Read more »

Government’s mental health response a positive step forward; now for the detail

29 May 2019 Media Release - ASMS

“The Government’s response to its mental health review appears to be a significant step in the right direction but we now need the detail to see how much of a difference it will truly make,” says Lyndon Keene, Director of Policy and Research at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). He was commenting on the Government’s long-awaited announcement today about how it will respond to the recommendations of its review of New Zealand’s mental health and addiction services (

Read more »

Health $3.2 billion under-funded since 2009/10

23 May 2019 Media Release - ASMS

A pre-budget analysis conducted by the Council of Trade Unions and Association of Salaried Medical Specialists has highlighted a vast spending shortfall in health since 2009/2010. For the Health Vote to regain the spending power of the 2009/10 Health Vote and pay for the initiatives and additional costs announced over that time, it would need to increase by $3.2 billion to $20.2 billion in Budget 2019. The analysis can be read here: http://www.union.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/How-much-funding-is-needed-to-avoid-the-condition-of-the-Health-System-worsening-2019.pdf It shows Vote Health operational spending …

Read more »

Doctor unions embrace common approach to issues arising from safer rostering efforts

8 May 2019 Media Release - ASMS

The two unions representing doctors in public hospitals have agreed on a common approach to addressing any problems arising from efforts to secure safer staffing rosters for resident (junior) doctors. The senior doctors’ union, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS), and the union representing junior doctors, the New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The MoU outlines a process to resolve unintended consequences arising from the implementation of Schedule 10 of the collective agreement for …

Read more »

Bitter dispute could have unintended consequences for senior medical workforce

30 April 2019 Media Release - ASMS

A winner-takes-all approach in the acrimonious junior doctor dispute could have the unintended effect of making hospital specialists think twice about district health boards as employers of choice, says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). He backed comments by Middlemore Hospital intensive care specialist Dr David Galler today that a lack of trust is at the heart of the dispute between DHBs and the junior doctors (resident medical officers or RMOs) they employ (

Read more »

Removal of pathologists from long-term skills shortage list unwise

18 April 2019 Media Release - ASMS

The senior doctors’ union says its concerns about the immigration status of pathologists have been acknowledged but the Government’s response falls well short of what is needed. Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS), says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway has written to acknowledge the concerns raised about the removal of pathologists from the Government’s Long-Term Skill Shortage List. ASMS concerns have been detailed in letters to the Government and also outlined briefly in an article …

Read more »

Hospital specialists congratulate midwives on accord – and ask: what about us?

16 April 2019 Media Release - ASMS

“Hospital midwives are to be congratulated for successfully negotiating a safer staffing accord – and now it’s the turn of hospital specialists to have a similar agreement with the Government to address the serious workforce issues they’re dealing with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). He was commenting on news that Health Minister David Clark will host the signing of a staffing accord for midwives (https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/midwifery-workforce-accord-welcomed). ASMS has been trying to secure …

Read more »

Phew!

16 April 2019 Media Release - ASMS

Phew is the reaction from Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) to the news that the Employment Relations Authority will undertake a ‘facilitation’ of the long-running toxic industrial dispute between the 20 district health boards (DHBs) and the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) representing resident (junior) doctors. Facilitation is a provision in the Employment Relations Act which enables the Employment Relations Authority, on application from an employer or union, to intervene in a collective agreement …

Read more »

Senior doctors pleased health review chief understands importance of workforce

15 April 2019 Media Release - ASMS

A focus on workforce in the Health and Disability System Review has been welcomed by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS), but it cautions against any unsettling industrial changes. In an interview with The Specialist, the quarterly magazine produced by ASMS, review panel Chair Heather Simpson suggests it might be desirable for Senior Medical Officers (SMOs) to be covered by the same employment agreements as their junior colleagues, Resident Medical Officers (RMOs). At present the two groups have separate …

Read more »