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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International praise for Canterbury DHB contrasts with heavy-handed message here

28 August 2017 MEDIA RELEASE - ASMS

“It’s ironic that Canterbury’s public health system is being praised internationally for its vision and performance even as it faces ongoing attacks in New Zealand,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

He was commenting on an article in The Guardian that says experiences from Canterbury offer key lessons on how accountable care should work, and how it should not ( The article by health reporter Richard Vize, who used to edit the Health Service Journal, describes Canterbury’s performance as “impressive”.  He draws up an assessment of the London based policy and research unit the King’s Fund.

“That’s a stark contrast to the continuing unwarranted attacks on the DHB that are happening here,” says Mr Powell.

ASMS has previously spoken out about the Treasury’s flawed criticism of the DHB’s financial performance and the heavy-handed message the Government appears to be sending (, as well as the penalties for the DHB’s leadership for speaking out about the impact of funding constraints (

“This latest international article provides a different perspective on the region’s efforts to grapple with change and improvement following the quakes. Hopefully the Government’s decision-makers will read it.”

The King’s Fund report, Developing accountable care systems – lessons from Canterbury, New Zealand, is available here: King’s Fund, Developing Accountable Care Systems, Lessons from Canterbury, New Zealand, August 2017_168627