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 – Other News

Dunedin Hospital postpones surgeries

23 July 2019 Mike Houlahan - Otago Daily Times

Several elective surgeries had to be postponed last week at Dunedin Hospital after winter demand meant the facility ran out of beds for patients. Patient numbers nationwide usually increase in winter, but this year has been busier than usual in the South. Dunedin Hospital’s emergency department has also been stretched several times in recent weeks, but a surge in patients last week meant more people than planned had to be admitted to wards, Southern District Health Board nursing director Jenny …

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Hepatitis Foundation calls on Govt to fix IT systems ‘stuck in 20th century’

23 July 2019 Cliff Taylor - New Zealand Doctor

The failure to design healthcare IT systems which work together is costing the country hundreds of millions of dollars and hampering efforts to eliminate diseases, says the Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand, which is calling for the Government to take action. The blunt message, in a submission to the Health and Disability System Review, says the current state of healthcare IT communications and interoperability “creates serious limitations and impediments” to screening, surveillance and management programs. “Without government intervention and compulsion …

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An evening with Alanna Mitchell

23 July 2019 MAS

World-renowned Canadian science journalist, Alanna Mitchell, regularly travels from the Arctic to the Antarctic and everywhere in between. Her award-winning book Seasick: The Global Ocean in Crisis is now a critically acclaimed play that she’ll be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before coming to New Zealand for an exclusive MAS event in September. Attached is a story which explains more about Alanna’s experiences exploring and observing the oceans as they are impacted by humans and the effect …

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Mental health report snubbed by SDHB

22 July 2019 Daisy Hudson - Otago Daily Times

A report recommending 100 mental health staff were needed for the Queenstown/Central Otago area was ignored by the Southern District Health Board (SDHB). In 2013, Otago-based psychiatric nurse Kerry Hand was commissioned by the board to produce a mental health development plan for the area. Among his recommendations were a “re-balancing exercise” to free up resources, and multi-function teams based in Central Otago towns, including two in the Wakatipu. “Service in Central Otago/Queenstown Lakes has been a long-standing issue, with …

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Waikato health board can be turned around – Commissioner

22 July 2019 Radio New Zealand - Morning Report

The Commissioner appointed to lead the Waikato District Health Board out of financial and other difficulties says the organisation can be turned around. Karen Poutasi and three deputies were appointed after the Health Minister, David Clark, sacked the former board in early May. The DHB has a $37 million deficit and has lacked a permanent chief executive since Nigel Murray resigned amid a spending scandal in October 2017. As well, a recent review of the DHB concluded a lack of …

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Auckland measles outbreak: Confirmed number of cases jumps to 217

18 July 2019 Hannah Martin - Stuff

Seven more Aucklanders have contracted measles, bringing the total number of cases in the region to 217. Auckland Regional Public Health Service announced the new cases on Wednesday afternoon. The region has been experiencing an outbreak of the highly infectious and potentially life-threatening viral illness for months, accounting for the majority of new cases across the country. A surveillance report by ESR released on Tuesday showed there have been 311 confirmed measles cases throughout New Zealand so far this year. Of …

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Office of the Ombudsman crystal clear on advice it gave

17 July 2019 Otago Daily Times - Opinion: Elspeth McLean

Dear David, People who know me, realise I am not great with silence. If there’s a pause in a conversation, I just have to overflow into it with whatever is produced by the moths colliding in my head. Sometimes I find other people’s silences puzzling. Just last week, yours baffled me, so I am afraid the moths are being unleashed. Being health minister is a big job and it may be hard to keep track of details, so here’s a …

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Ministry ignored advice to boost measles immunisation of teens, young adults

16 July 2019 Cate Broughton - Stuff

As measles cases continue to skyrocket in New Zealand, documents show the Ministry of Health failed to act on expert advice to prevent outbreaks. A surveillance report from ESR confirmed 311 cases this year with 41 per cent, or 128, requiring hospitalisation due to complications. Immunisation Advisory Centre director and National Verification Committee (NVC) chair Dr Nikki Turner said measles outbreaks in Auckland, Wellington and Taranaki could threaten New Zealand’s official elimination status. In October 2017 the Ministry announced New Zealand had won international praise for officially eliminating …

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Age limit on cancer tests harms Maori

16 July 2019 Mike Houlahan - Otago Daily Times

Changes to remove inequities in the national bowel cancer screening programme which discriminate against Maori could and should be removed immediately, a senior health researcher says. The programme is being introduced progressively around New Zealand, and provides free bowel cancer screening for 60-74-year-olds. It started in the southern region last year, and most recent statistics show a 71% participation rate, well ahead of the national target of 60%. However, the age range of the programme discriminates against Maori, Sue Crengle, …

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