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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Health Minister warns Waikato DHB over growing deficit

17 April 2019 ASMS

The Health Minister is poised to sack the entire Waikato District Health Board and replace it with a commissioner. David Clark has told the embattled DHB he’s seriously dissatisfied with its performance and increasingly worried about its growing deficit. He’s giving the board two weeks to tell him what they think before he makes a final decision. Mr Clark is not commenting further. RNZ health correspondent, Karen Brown with more, listen here: ASMS Executive Director Ian Powell was …

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Health Minister considers Commissioner for Waikato DHB

16 April 2019 Media Release - Health Minister Dr David Clark

Health Minister Dr David Clark has informed Waikato DHB Board that he is seriously dissatisfied with their performance and is considering the appointment of a Commissioner to replace Board members. The Board has two weeks (until 3 May) to formally respond before a final decision will be made, taking into account all feedback provided. This is an important part of the natural justice process. “This step is not being taken lightly, however I am increasingly concerned by Waikato DHB’s deteriorating …

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Midwifery workforce accord welcomed

15 April 2019 Media Release - Health Minister Dr David Clark

Health Minister David Clark has congratulated the midwives’ unions, DHBs, and the Ministry of Health for agreeing a joint accord to help ensure safe and sustainable staffing levels in our public hospitals. Agreement of the accord follows DHB midwives’ vote to accept a new Multi-Employer Collective Agreement on Friday. “The Government is committed to making sure that staffing levels for midwives employed by DHBs are safe for mothers, their babies and for midwives themselves,” David Clark says. “It is clear …

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ERA’s cool head needed to break impasse in long-running RDA-DHB dispute

9 April 2019 Media Release - ASMS

The senior doctors’ union is urging the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) to help sort out the long-running industrial dispute between resident (junior) doctors and their district health boards (DHBs). “This toxic and acrimonious dispute needs to end so we can all just focus on the task of treating patients,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). He was commenting on the Resident Doctors’ Association’s application to the ERA for facilitation (non-binding arbitration) in its …

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Medicare for all and its rivals: new offshoots of old health policy roots

5 April 2019 Annals of Internal Medicine

The leading option for health reform in the United States would leave 36.2 million persons uninsured in 2027 while costs would balloon to nearly $6 trillion (1). That option is called the status quo. Other reasons why temporizing is a poor choice include the country’s decreasing life expectancy, the widening mortality gap between the rich and the poor, and rising deductibles and drug prices. Even insured persons fear medical bills, commercial pressures permeate examination rooms, …

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BMA launches urgent inquiry into sexual harassment

3 April 2019 Matthew Weaver - The Guardian

Allegations by some of the UK’s most senior female doctors of widespread sexual harassment at the top of the medical profession have forced the British Medical Association to launch an urgent investigation. Dr Zoe Norris and Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer, who are members of the general practice committee (GPC), the body which represents all GPs, have chosen to blow the whistle on misogynistic behaviour of some members and the sexist culture of the male-dominated committee. Hundreds of colleagues have contacted them …

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Almost $178,000 in medical equipment not returned to Waikato DHB in five years

3 April 2019 Libby Wilson - Stuff

Patients who fail to return loaned equipment to DHBs are costing the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars per year. In Waikato, a bariatric shower commode worth $1798 is the most expensive item to go walkabout recently. Over the past five years, the bill for the region’s public health provider has added up to almost $178,000. But Waikato is not alone – other hospitals have previously called amnesties for items including crutches, wheelchairs, and electric beds. Read more here:

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Q&A: ‘Medical manslaughter’ a growing worry

3 April 2019 Jamie Morton - New Zealand Herald

A UK neurologist and medical law campaigner just visited the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences to discuss “medical manslaughter” – when doctors are charged over the deaths of patients. Dr Jenny Vaughan was the medical lead for a group that helped overturn the conviction of a UK consultant surgeon, Dr David Sellu. Since these events, grassroots support has grown from thousands of healthcare in support of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, a trainee paediatrician who was convicted of manslaughter …

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Thousands of medical appointments delayed after floods

3 April 2019 Radio New Zealand

About 4000 people will have their medical appointments postponed after a flood in the Christchurch Outpatients building on Friday. The building will remain closed until next Monday, after steam from a burst heating pipe activated the fire sprinkler system, causing significant damage to walls, floors and ceilings. The Canterbury District Health Board said a new valve for the heating pipe was needed and all pipework would need a hydraulic test before it was back in operation again. The health board …

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District health boards to check mass-casualty plans after Christchurch Hospital review of massacre

2 April 2019 Martin Johnston - New Zealand Herald

Public hospitals are reviewing their preparations for mass-casualty events in light of the Christchurch massacre. Forty-nine people were shot dead at two mosques, while another later died of gunshot wounds after being transported to Christchurch Hospital. Forty-eight survivors were treated at the hospital. Others were treated in community health facilities. In the space of a few hours on March 15, Christchurch Hospital had to deal with nearly three times as many gunshot survivors as Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital sees on average …

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