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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Northland GP urges health board to eradicate institutional racism

2 August 2019 Lois Williams - Radio New Zealand

A Northland GP is urging the district health board to be honest about institutional racism in its health services and stamp it out. Kyle Eggleton, who works for Māori health provider Ki A Ora Ngātiwai, said systemic bias was a factor in disastrous Māori health statistics. Dr Eggleton said he audited himself for bias when he worked in general practice and thought he’d be squeaky clean. But he found he was much less likely to prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs to Māori …

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National Party accuses Minister of Health of holding back DHB debt figures

2 August 2019 New Zealand Herald

The Minister of Health has denied holding back information about District Health Boards’ growing debt woes and says he wasn’t aware the data was sitting in his office for six weeks. National Party health spokesman Michael Woodhouse has accused Minister David Clark of delaying the release of financial data about struggling DHBs because it’s “bad news”. A reply to written questions from Woodhouse shows a report on DHB’s financial performance to the end of April made it to Clark’s office …

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Appointment of support locum neurosurgeon delayed

1 August 2019 Mike Houlahan - Otago Daily Times

Appointing a locum neurosurgeon to support Dunedin Hospital’s sole neurosurgeon, Ahmad Taha, has been delayed. The Southern District Health Board announced last month one locum was due to start at the end of July on a six-month contract, and that it hoped to employ a second locum soon. Mr Taha has been working without any cover for some time, meaning Christchurch surgeons have had to provide weekend and after-hours cover remotely. ”The locum identified for a July start has been …

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Oncology waiting list shrinking

1 August 2019 Mike Houlahan - Otago Daily Times

The waiting list for radiation oncology treatment at the Southern District Health Board is on its way back down after blowing out to about 150 people earlier this year. A ”recovery programme” had now been put in place, a meeting of board commissioners heard yesterday. Under the programme, the oncology service clinical leader was called on to pick up several patients, and a Canterbury clinician came south to hold special clinics to tackle the waiting list. Read more here:

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Southern DHB under fire for ‘ignoring’ report recommendations

1 August 2019 Radio New Zealand - Nine to Noon

Is it time for a public inquiry into Southern DHB’s treatment of bowel cancer patients? Christchurch surgeon Phil Bagshaw, the co-author of a damning audit says the response to major failures isn’t good enough. After a random audit of  20 cases, half showed undue delays with picking up bowel cancer symptoms or giving treatment. Mr Bagshaw now claims that the DHB is turning its backs on promises to overhaul its procedures on the back of his report. Listen here:

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Health union boss Ian Powell slams David Clark’s leadership in damning speech

29 July 2019 Natalie Akoorie - New Zealand Herald

A health union boss has unleashed a scathing attack on the Minister of Health, calling his political leadership “fiscally irresponsible” and without vision. In a speech to the Hospital and Community Dentistry Conference in Napier this morning, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive director Ian Powell accused Health Minister Dr David Clark of a “rambling, confused or nonsensical” leadership. Clark responded after the speech saying the Government “inherited a series of workforce issues that will take time to address”. “Despite …

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Outgoing health union boss slams Health Minister David Clark

29 July 2019 Cate Broughton - Stuff

Health Minister David Clark has come under sustained attack from an unlikely source – a health union boss. Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) executive director Ian Powell gave his final speech in the role he has held for 30 years at a conference for hospital dentists and doctors in Napier on Saturday. The organisation represents more than 4800 specialist doctors in public hospitals across New Zealand. Powell took the opportunity to vent a litany of frustrations about the health minister in his speech, …

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Pressure on Govt over cancer plan

26 July 2019 Otago Daily Times

The Government is under growing pressure to commit to its pre-election promise to establish an independent agency to tackle cancer. Nearly a month has passed since Health Minister David Clark was due to announce a plan to combat New Zealand’s biggest killer. Advocates say people are dying because of the ongoing “unacceptable” delay. Read more here:

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Can New Zealand’s mental health crisis be cured?

26 July 2019 Radio New Zealand - Morning Report

The biggest changes to mental health and addiction services in decades are about to be unveiled. This year’s budget set aside $455 million for frontline services in mental health and now the government is gearing up to release the nitty gritty of how this money will be spent. RNZ health correspondent Karen Brown has the story for RNZ Insight. She visited Bruce and Ashika, who have mental illnesses. They discuss what could make the system better. See the story here: …

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Whanganui vaccination rates below that national average, DHB concerned

23 July 2019 Lucy Drake - Whanganui Chronicle

Whanganui District Health Board says “anti-vaxx propaganda” is behind some infants not being immunised and it is putting children’s health at risk. It comes on the back of a report by the Ministry of Health which shows Whanganui’s immunisation rates, although slightly up on four years ago, still sit below a declining national average. WDHB has been ranked seventh of New Zealand’s 20 DHBs in vaccination rates with just 72.4 per cent of six-month-old babies vaccinated in Whanganui, compared with …

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