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

Hospital upgrade won’t end ice blocks on wards

9 July 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says it’s a shame that a multi-million-dollar upgrade package for Hawkes Bay Hospital does not include desperately needed air-conditioning for its wards. The government has announced a $14.2 million package to redevelop and expand radiology and surgical services to increase capacity, create larger clinical spaces, and reduce waiting times. ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says it’s great to see Hawkes Bay Hospital getting some much-needed attention for its cramped and rundown facilities. “But it …

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Quick-fire lessons for new Health Minister

2 July 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists welcomes Chris Hipkins to the role of Health Minister following the resignation of David Clark. “We look forward to working with Mr Hipkins and talking with him as he comes up to speed with the complexity and challenges of our health system,” says Executive Director Sarah Dalton. She says taking on the health portfolio along with education will be a big ask. “The Government has delivered some very large budget increases for health this …

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Don’t let your health be treated like an exercise in practical accounting

29 June 2020 ASMS comment piece

ASMS has expressed concern about the relentless focus on cost-cutting by the the Canterbury DHB along with the Government’s punitive capital charge regime which may lead to staff cuts. It’s not the only DHB under pressure to slash staffing costs.  ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton wrote an open letter to the people of Canterbury published on Stuff and in The Press. 

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The Specialist – out now!

24 June 2020 ASMS

In this issue we look into the role of public health during the Covid crisis, and we hear from a Kiwi doctor in London on his experience of the pandemic there. There’s also an article on the state of SMO overnight accommodation, an analysis of the Health Budget and we talk to the country’s only two doctors in Parliament.

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Simpson Review puts health jigsaw into a more joined up picture

16 June 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says on first impressions, the long-awaited recommendations out of the Simpson Health and Disability System Review are sensible and would help join up what has become the fractured delivery of health care in New Zealand. The creation of a new agency called Health NZ to manage health service delivery, facilities, IT, and to oversee employment strategy, represents a welcome approach. ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says having more centralised and integrated oversight is welcome. …

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Deep diving into this year’s health budget

15 June 2020 ASMS

Budget 2020 delivered the biggest boost to health in ten years but will it really make a real difference in helping to rebuild an overloaded health system which has faced years of chronic underfunding?  We believe it’s important to know exactly how and where the health dollar is being spent. This year ASMS commissioned one of New Zealand’s leading independent economic forecasting and consultancy businesses, Infometrics, to analyse this year’s health budget and crunch the numbers.

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Dire state of hospital infrastructure comes as no surprise

10 June 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says rundown hospital buildings, cramped working space and failing IT systems are part of the everyday working conditions for hospital staff and the result of long-term neglect. The government has released a stocktake of the country’s hospital infrastructure – The Current State of Assessment of DHB assets – which paints a dire picture of DHB facilities. ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says such a comprehensive stocktake was long overdue and the findings will …

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Urgent need to plug information gaps on clinical Covid infections

29 May 2020 ASMS Media Release

The lack of detail on the transmission of Covid-19 in clinical environments will send shudders through the health workforce, says the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists. A report in the New Zealand Herald, based on Ministry of Health figures, shows of 183, or 12 per cent, of all 1504 confirmed and probable cases were among health workers.  While many were imported or linked to overseas travel, there are a significant number of cases in which the Ministry can’t say …

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Budget 2020 Takeaways

15 May 2020 ASMS

This week’s pre-Budget and Budget announcements have seen significant funding boosts for the health sector. But is it all good news? We’ve put together some information, along with our initial thoughts and main takeaways from Budget 2020.

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Health funding injection a big step in the right direction

12 May 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says the government’s pre-Budget funding announcement delivers a welcome shot in the arm for a health system which has been teetering on the edge. The Finance and Health Ministers have announced an extra $3.92 billion in operational funding over the next four years in what they describe as the largest injection into health in a decade.

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