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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Bushfire smoke research will help doctors – AMA

17 January 2020 Australian Medical Association

The Australian Medical Association says the findings of new bushfire smoke research will provide people with better knowledge of prevention measures and empower doctors with better clinical solutions to care for communities affected by future extreme bushfires and other air quality emergencies. Australia’s Health Minister, Greg Hunt, has announced $5 million funding for research into both the physiological and mental health impacts of prolonged exposure to bushfire smoke on people and whole communities after weeks of warnings about air quality. …

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‘When do I get to see the doctor?’ A senior doctor on gender and medicine

16 January 2020 Ellen O'Dwyer - Stuff

After 30 years in the medical profession, Ruth Large is still being asked is she’s the doctor. Large is an emergency physician working at both Thames and Waikato hospital, she also works as clinical director of information services at Waikato DHB. She’s got a clinical role in a small rural hospital which she loves, a role in a big emergency department, and the rest of her time is spent looking at digital health care delivery. Decades on, recent reports have shown disparities …

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Emergency department staff slam DHB for ‘refusing’ to release report

15 January 2020 Stuff

Emergency department workers at Hutt Hospital say they are being kept in the dark over a report concerning an incident in which four staff were bashed. More than 40 nurses and doctors have signed a letter calling on the Hutt Valley District Health Board to release the findings of the independent report completed last year. Staff  say the letter has gone unanswered since August. Read story here    

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Health boards struggle to recover overseas patient debt

9 January 2020 Stuff

Overseas visitors have racked up millions of dollars in treatment bills in New Zealand hospitals over the past five years – only a portion of which is likely to have been recovered.  Healthcare provided to ineligible patients included emergency department admissions, outpatient appointments and acute inpatient admissions for a range of conditions. Read more

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Whakaari / White Island: Whakatāne Hospital staff take stress leave

19 December 2019 Radio New Zealand

Whakatāne hospital doctors, nurses and specialists are taking stress leave after the horror of last week’s deadly eruption at Whakaari / White Island. Local GPs, health boards around the country and specialists from Australia are stepping up to help out. For those still alive after being caught in the eruption, 14 remain in four hospitals around New Zealand, with 10 still in a critical condition. Another 13 were transferred to hospitals in Australia, where one died. Whakatāne Hospital pastoral care …

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Air pollution in NSW is a public health emergency

17 December 2019 Climate and Health Alliance

27 health and medical groups in Australia, which includes a number of joint Australia/New Zealand organisations, have released a  statement saying that air pollution from bushfires in New South Wales is a public health emergency. They are calling on the federal and state governments to take action. High levels of air pollution are expected to continue. Read the statement here    

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French doctors threaten to quit over hospitals crisis

17 December 2019 The Guardian

More than 600 French hospital doctors have threatened to resign if the government does not increase health funding, as striking medics prepare to take to the streets across the country. The doctors warn that budget cuts, bed closures and staff shortages are bringing France’s health system to the brink of collapse and putting patients’ lives at risk. Read more in The Guardian

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Whakaari/White Island: Burns surgeon with three-month-old back from maternity leave to help injured

16 December 2019 Libby Wilson - Stuff

Burns specialist Deirdre Seoighe arrived at work with a three-month-old baby in tow. Within minutes the Irish born surgeon was grappling with burns in numbers she had never seen before while staffers cuddled her tiny baby. At hospital she slogged so hard and for so long that she couldn’t remember how many hours she worked either in theatre or on the wards coordinating the massive effort to save lives after the Whakaari / White Island eruption. “It is a bit stressful to see this number …

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Three decades of speaking up for senior doctors

12 December 2019 RNZ - Nine to Noon

Ian Powell sat down with RNZ Nine to Noon host Kathryn Ryan to reflect on his 30 years as the public face of ASMS.  He was the the Association’s first Executive Director in 1989, when the union had 1200 members. It now has 5000.  He spoke to Kathryn Ryan about years of fighting for the pay and conditions of medical specialists and being a vocal advocate for the public health.  Have a listen here.     

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DHBs must address leadership culture – Ian Powell

11 December 2019 Ian Powell - ODT

Ian Powell, executive director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, has led the union since its formation in 1989. He leaves ASMS at the end of the year, and is gravely concerned about the state of district health boards, particularly the Southern DHB. Read more. 

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