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

No more excuses on specialist shortages crisis

15 October 2019 Media Release - ASMS

Patients are increasingly being turned away for treatment and there can be no more excuses from the Government over properly funding district health boards to boost specialist numbers in public hospitals, says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists. Ongoing ASMS staffing surveys in DHBs reveal an estimated shortage of medical specialists of around 24% nationwide. “We will be publishing the results of the most recent completed surveys over the next few weeks starting with Northland …

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Doctors’ patience wearing thin as hospitals at breaking point

10 October 2019 Media Release - ASMS

The patience of senior doctors at Midcentral District Health Board is wearing thin as they sound serious warnings around inadequate and failing hospital infrastructure, says Angela Belich, Acting Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). A letter sent on behalf of 80 senior doctors at Palmerston North Hospital says there is a crisis arising from delays in building new facilities which is affecting their ability to meet the surgical and health needs of the people in Manawatu. …

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Women patients pay price as staffing shortages put hospitals on edge

8 October 2019 Media Release - ASMS

Women patients are paying the price for gaping holes as dire staffing shortages put hospitals on the edge, says Angela Belich, Acting Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). RNZ reported today that women in Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, South Canterbury and Blenheim are turning away women with “non-urgent” gynaecological conditions due to a shortage of specialists: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/400491/women-denied-treatment-for-gynaecological-conditions In August a similar situation was reported at Counties Manukau District Health Board. “It’s distressing to think that …

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Increase in doctors welcome amid unprecedented demand

7 October 2019 Media Release - ASMS

Figures showing an increase in District Health Board employed doctors are positive, but the health service is under immense pressure, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) Acting Executive Director Angela Belich says. Ms Belich was commenting on figures released by Health Minister David Clark showing an increase in doctors, nurses, and midwives: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/nurses-star-govt-rebuilds-health-workforces “Our members are reporting unprecedented pressure in hospitals around the country. We are seeing a surge in patients presenting with acute illness, and growing demand for …

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Urgent need to resolve industrial disputes

27 September 2019 Media Release - ASMS

District Health Boards must act urgently to resolve an industrial dispute affecting four separate groups of health professionals in order to prevent planned strikes, says Angela Belich, Acting Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists. Ms Belich was commenting on the strikes planned by radiographers, sonographers, lab workers and psychologists: (https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/399538/radiographers-sonographers-psychologists-to-walk-off-the-job) Ms Belich says senior doctors in affected DHBs are calling for an urgent resolution of the industrial dispute. “Many senior doctors affected by these strikes are …

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Young people take action on climate change

26 September 2019 Media Release - ASMS

The young people taking part in climate action events around New Zealand tomorrow are raising awareness of a serious environmental threat, says Angela Belich, Acting Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “Climate change is a serious threat to human health and well-being. Our young people are taking a lead in highlighting this issue because they fear for their future if climate change is not dealt with. “Many ASMS members are involved in sustainability and climate action …

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Use of motels demonstrates perils of short-termism

23 September 2019 Media Release - ASMS

News that Wellington Hospital is using motels to deal with patient over-flow is a consequence of the short-termism that characterises new hospital builds in New Zealand, says Angela Belich, Acting Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). Ms Belich was commenting on a story in the Dominion Post on Friday that details the practice ( https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/115880462/motels-frequently-used-as-wellington-hospital-deals-with-high-patient-demand) “Wellington Hospital is one of many hospitals that are too small for the population they serve. This is due to …

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New Executive Director appointed

20 September 2019 Media Release - ASMS

Sarah Dalton has been appointed Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS), effective 1 January 2020. At present Ms Dalton works as an Industrial Officer at ASMS, serving the Northland, Waitemata, and Auckland DHBs. Ian Powell signalled last year he will leave ASMS at the end of 2019. He has led the union since its formation in 1989. ASMS President Professor Murray Barclay says Mr Powell’s departure is the most significant change in the union’s history. “We …

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Urgent efforts needed to restore confidence in Christchurch Hospital planning process

12 August 2019 Media Release - ASMS

The head of the senior doctors’ union has commended hospital specialists at Canterbury District Health Board for drawing attention to significant problems with Christchurch Hospital’s planning process. “It’s another example of hospital specialists speaking out about their serious concerns regarding the impact on hospital facilities of the effects of sustained and continued periods of under-funding,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). He was commenting on reports that heads of department and other hospital …

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More effort needed to fix the gaps in health care

8 August 2019 Media Release - ASMS

To relieve the mounting pressure on health services, the divide between hospitals and community health services must be fixed, according to a Research Brief published today by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “Government policy is to work as ‘one team’ but very little is being done to act on it,” says ASMS Senior Researcher and Policy Advisor Lyndon Keene. “Canterbury District Health Board has developed a world-leading model to integrate hospital and community services with promising results.  But …

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