We are the union for salaried doctors and dentists.

We promote, protect and support the interests of our members in all aspects of their working lives. We are working for an equitable, accessible public health care system that meets the needs of all New Zealanders.

  • News – ASMS News

Southlanders – what price your health?

11 August 2020 ASMS opinion piece

Southlanders can feel lucky in the extent to which your district health board provides a contrast to the sorry events at Canterbury DHB, where a hostile board and Crown monitor have effectively led to the departure of the chief executive David Meates and three members of his senior leadership.

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DHB Chief Executive put in untenable position

4 August 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says Canterbury DHB Chief Executive David Meates was put in an untenable position and the people of Canterbury should be angry and upset over his resignation. Mr Meates’ resignation from both the Canterbury and West Coast DHBs was announced at an emergency Canterbury Board meeting today. Two other members of his executive leadership team have recently resigned and ASMS understands others could follow. ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says David Meates has been a …

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Commentary on the Health and Disability System Review

3 August 2020 ASMS

The Simpson Health and Disability System Review recommends the most wide-ranging reform of the health system in 20 years. ASMS has gone through the 274-page report and put together a summary which includes analysis and commentary of the main proposals. 

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Sticking plaster approach to Family Planning

28 July 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says a one-off funding boost for Family Planning is a step in the right direction but there needs to be commitment to proper long-term funding and pay parity for senior doctors across the health sector. The Government has announced $427,000 in support to Family Planning to help reduce waiting times for patients. Family Planning has not had a funding increase in over ten years.  Last week it apologised to patients saying it was struggling …

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Cash-starved Family Planning should not have to apologise to patients

24 July 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says it is shameful that Family Planning has been pushed to a point where it is having to publicly apologise to patients. Family Planning says it cannot meet demand and patients are facing long waits for appointments.  It says despite population growth, escalating costs and increasing need for services, it has faced 12 years with no funding increase from Government.  Read story – Family planning clinics across the country unable to keep up …

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Opinion piece: Are we up for the long haul of health reform?

17 July 2020 ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton

Transforming the health system will demand a mindshift away from an adversarial style of politics, otherwise we are doomed to watch the Simpson Review sink like a stone into the political mire, writes ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton.

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Crunching the numbers on staffing shortages

15 July 2020 ASMS

For the past few years ASMS has been running surveys to estimate specialist staffing needs across departments in all DHBs.  Clinical leaders were asked how many SMO full-time equivalents are needed to provide a safe and quality service for patients. All the numbers have now been crunched. We estimate that overall there is an average SMO staffing shortfall nationwide of around 24%. You can see how your DHB measures up.

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Hospital upgrade won’t end ice blocks on wards

9 July 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says it’s a shame that a multi-million-dollar upgrade package for Hawkes Bay Hospital does not include desperately needed air-conditioning for its wards. The government has announced a $14.2 million package to redevelop and expand radiology and surgical services to increase capacity, create larger clinical spaces, and reduce waiting times. ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says it’s great to see Hawkes Bay Hospital getting some much-needed attention for its cramped and rundown facilities. “But it …

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Quick-fire lessons for new Health Minister

2 July 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists welcomes Chris Hipkins to the role of Health Minister following the resignation of David Clark. “We look forward to working with Mr Hipkins and talking with him as he comes up to speed with the complexity and challenges of our health system,” says Executive Director Sarah Dalton. She says taking on the health portfolio along with education will be a big ask. “The Government has delivered some very large budget increases for health this …

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Don’t let your health be treated like an exercise in practical accounting

29 June 2020 ASMS comment piece

ASMS has expressed concern about the relentless focus on cost-cutting by the the Canterbury DHB along with the Government’s punitive capital charge regime which may lead to staff cuts. It’s not the only DHB under pressure to slash staffing costs.  ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton wrote an open letter to the people of Canterbury published on Stuff and in The Press. 

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