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

ACC proposes slashing medical advisory staffing

23 May 2018 Media Release - ASMS

ACC plans to cut its medical advisory staffing by almost 20%, says Lloyd Woods, Senior Industrial Officer at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).

“Staff in ACC’s clinical services directorate have been invited to briefings on proposed changes that will see a significant reduction in the number of medical advisors. It’s fair to say they’re gob-smacked by this flawed proposal, and dismayed by the potential implications if ACC goes ahead with it.”

ASMS represents most of the medical advisors employed by ACC, who provide specialised medical advice on claims.

Mr Woods says ASMS will be working with members to reject the proposal. The ACC document cites concerns with rising claim volumes, changing claims mix with the aging population, and expectations from providers of access to advisors.

“Given these pressures on the service provided by medical advisors, it beggars belief that ACC would even consider a proposal to cut numbers,” he says.

“This would see some of ACC’s longest serving advisory employees losing their jobs, and it would represent a significant loss of knowledge and experience from the organisation. This would almost certainly have an effect on the outcomes for ACC claimants.”

He says just 14 working days has been allowed for consultation and feedback on the ACC change proposal.

“It’s a ridiculously short amount of time to provide feedback on something as serious as this. ACC has an obligation to act as a good employer, and we’d expect a decent amount of time for consultation to be part of what constitutes a fair and proper process.”

The ACC document is available on ASMS’ website at https://www.asms.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Clinical-Consultation-Proposal-Final-May-2018.pdf.