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

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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$55 million cut to District Health Board mental health funding revealed

8 August 2019 Media Release - ASMS

A significant tightening in District Health Board mental health funding has been revealed as the Government appears to be shuffling money around mental health. In a joint working paper analysis of Budget 2019, Council of Trade Unions Economist Bill Rosenberg and Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Director of Policy and Research Lyndon Keene estimate, in real terms, a $55 million shortfall in DHBs’ mental health funding that is ring-fenced for those with severe needs. “The high threshold to be eligible …

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Vote Health funding falls short – again

8 August 2019 Media Release - ASMS

A post-Budget analysis of Vote Health funding has confirmed that health spending as a proportion of the economy continues to fall well short of what is needed. Jointly conducted by the Council of Trade Unions and the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, it estimates Vote Health has lost $1.6 billion spending power in the past decade. It comes as a newly released Ministry of Health financial report puts projected District Health Board deficits at $508 million this year. ASMS Executive …

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More investment in hospital specialist workforce needed to tackle ballooning deficits

6 August 2019 Media Release - ASMS

“The size of hospital deficits is yet another sign the Government needs to invest more in the health workforce, including hospital specialists,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “It might seem counter-intuitive to suggest spending more money when DHBs are already in the red but spending it in the right ways – for example, by providing more specialists to diagnose and treat patients, and actively supporting greater clinical leadership – would be a …

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Hospital specialists welcome Government boost for cancer care

5 August 2019 Media Release - ASMS

The senior doctors’ union is welcoming the Government’s announcement of improvements to cancer care. “It will go some way to improving the care available for people living with cancer and their families, and it will be welcome news for hospital specialists who provide cancer treatment,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). He was commenting on the Government’s announcement that it will replace aging radiation machines and for the first time make radiation treatment …

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Waikato DHB survey indicative of national crisis; health minister guilty of dereliction of duty

23 July 2019 Media Release - ASMS

One of the country’s largest district health boards has a severe shortage of hospital specialists, says the senior doctors’ union, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). Executive Director Ian Powell says a survey of departmental heads at Waikato District Health Board reveals the DHB needs another 48.6 full-time equivalent (27.6%) specialists – but at the time of the survey it was advertising just 25.5 FTE vacancies. Mr Powell says the Waikato DHB Resource Review released to staff by the …

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DHB numbers a distraction from the real issues of funding and workforce

1 July 2019 Media Release - ASMS

“Reducing the number of district health boards will not magically resolve the heavy burdens of financial deficits and workforce shortages in our hospitals,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). He was commenting on an article arguing for a reduction in the number of DHBs to save money and time on both governance and senior management (https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/113866554/we-need-to-slash-the-number-of-district-health-boards). “Having fewer DHBs might look attractive at first glance but it’s erroneous to think it will …

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Medical migration risk to poor countries’ health services

28 June 2019 Media Release - ASMS

Wealthy countries have a responsibility to consider the impact of hiring doctors from poorer countries and try to minimise the practice, says Dr Otmar Kloiber, Secretary General of the World Medical Association. Dr Kloiber, of Germany, is a guest speaker at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists 30th anniversary conference in Wellington today. New Zealand relies heavily on international medical graduates, and was second only to Israel on this measure on a table of OECD countries displayed by Dr Kloiber. …

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