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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ACC medical advisors start rolling strikes tomorrow

16 July 2018 Media Release - ASMS

“ACC medical advisors are poised to walk off the job tomorrow because they’ve had a gutsful of their employer’s cavalier approach to their pay, conditions and well-being,” says Lloyd Woods, a Senior Industrial Officer at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). The 39 medical advisors will strike for four hours from 8am Tuesday 17 July as part of weekly rolling stoppages over their stalled employment agreement negotiations. “It’s only the second time ever that we can recall senior doctors …

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Nurses’ strike underway

12 July 2018 ASMS

Private hospital on way for Queenstown?

12 July 2018 Tracey Roxburgh - Otago Daily Times

Plans are well advanced for an independent hospital for Queenstown – and those behind it are not looking for any national funding. Capital and Coast District Health Board chairman and former Dunedin Hospital rebuild Southern Partnership Group chairman Andrew Blair said he had ”worked quietly” for the past six months with Southern Cross Hospitals on establishing an ”independent surgical hospital” in the resort, further details of which should be available ”within the next couple of months”. Mr Blair, who has …

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New Zealand’s high rates of obesity ‘inevitable’ – study

11 July 2018 Hannah Martin - Stuff

People living in lower socio-economic areas have three times the number of fast food and takeaway outlets around them than those in less deprived areas, new research shows. They are also shown more advertisements for unhealthy food and have more shelf space devoted to junk food in their local supermarket. That’s according to a three-year study by University of Auckland researchers, who, in a world first, have mapped the country’s food environments and policies. The study, led by Professor of …

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Urgent call to improve medicine access for Māori

11 July 2018 Nine to Noon - Radio New Zealand

New research is painting a bleak picture of the problems Māori patients face in getting equitable access to medicines. Dr. Matire Harwood (Ngapuhi) is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland’s Medical School and GP at Papakura Marae. Her research is focused on tackling some of the biggest inequalities in Māori health to improve outcomes for patients. She says the latest research shows a clear and urgent need to improve medicines management services, but there are positive signs at …

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DHB’s accused of underspending

11 July 2018 Newstalk ZB

Some District Health Boards are being accused of underspending on mental health in order to improve their bottom lines. The Platform Trust says money earmarked for mental health and addiction services is often being spent in other areas, or sometimes not spent at all. Chief executive Marion Blake says DHBs should not be allowed to skimp on vital services. “They’re not doing their job properly. Not all of them, but many, many of them are not doing it properly. So …

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Medical advisor union seeks court injunction against ‘cavalier’ ACC

11 July 2018 Simon Maude - New Zealand Doctor

The union representing most ACC medical advisors wants the courts to block a proposed job restructure affecting 120 staff. Today the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists is seeking an urgent injunction from the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) to halt ACC’s plans. Association senior industrial officer Lloyd Woods says ACC’s proposal to disestablish 100 jobs in its clinical services directorate is “unlawful and causing unnecessary stress for affected staff”. Mr Woods says ACC’s proposal is “fundamentally unfair” and it breaches the collective agreement covering medical advisors. Employment law prevents the association’s members from striking over ACC’s proposed restructure, so it is seeking the ERA injunction instead, Mr Woods says. The association also has stopwork action planned on 17 July …

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Hospitals prepare for nurses strike

11 July 2018 Radio New Zealand

Medical directors are insisting they’re as prepared as they can be for the nurses’ strike tomorrow as facilitation talks between nurses and DHBs failed. Last-ditch talks between nurses and their employers have concluded in Wellington. There’s been no comment from either side but RNZ understands the facilitation talks ended a short time ago. One chief medical officer estimates 6000 to 8000 elective surgery procedures nationwide will need to be deferred.  Anne Aitcheson is the lead national contingency planner …

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Government disappointed nurses reject pay offer

10 July 2018 Media Release - Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters

Acting Prime Minister, Rt Hon Winston Peters, says the Government is naturally very disappointed nurses plan to strike on Thursday, having rejected the recommendation of their union to accept the District Health Boards’ latest pay offer. “We understand the DHBs and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation are continuing with urgent facilitation talks. We encourage them to find a solution that will avert industrial action,” said Mr Peters. “The Government had doubled its offer. In addition to a pay increase, the …

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Extra car parks weeks away for Christchurch Hospital staff

10 July 2018 Michael Hayward - Stuff

More Christchurch Hospital staff car parking at the Metro Sports Facility site is weeks away from opening, while an existing park is being opened to students on night shifts. The extra spaces follow staff pleas for more nearby parking due to the safety concerns of late-night shift workers. Over the past three years, there have been five reported incidents including an assault leaving a student nurse wounded in April. In May, more than 200 temporary parks were promised for an area of …

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