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.

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Closure of Taranaki trust yet another sign of Government neglect

19 May 2017 Media Release - ASMS

“The closure of a Taranaki trust set up to pay for surgery for people who have been turned down by the public health system highlights yet another example of the Government’s failure to address high levels of unmet health need,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

He was commenting on reports that the Taranaki Community Health Trust has had to shut up shop, even though demand for its services has been increasing (

“Like the Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust, this Taranaki Trust is doing important work to improve the quality of life for people who can’t access surgery and other treatment in the seriously under-resourced public hospital system.

“The Government is poised to announce in the Budget how much it will be allocating to public health and we need to see a significant, game-changing improvement in the level of funding if we are not to see more people falling between the cracks in the public system.

“New Zealanders expect equitable access to good quality care and we are fortunate to have a highly trained and dedicated health workforce.  Unfortunately, however, our public hospitals are continually struggling to make ends meet and our hospital specialist workforce is dealing with the consequences of longstanding shortages that have become entrenched and the norm.

“Our message to the Government is simple: stop mucking around with the funding of our public hospitals and give New Zealand the health care it needs.”