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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Navigating the New Zealand health sector

20 July 2018

Have you ever tried to explain to a new graduate, or someone who has immigrated to New Zealand, what all the different health sector organisations do and how they fit together? It’s not easy, is it? There are a couple of reasons for that. First, the reality is that there are multiple organisations and structures, many with similar sounding names, and often with quite a bit of cross-over in what they do. You’ve got the Health and Disability Commissioner and …

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Positive progress in health but challenges remain

20 July 2018 Media Release - Health Minister David Clark

The Health Minister Dr David Clark says a new report taking the pulse of the nation highlights several positives but underlines the seriousness of the challenges the Government is addressing. The annual Health and Independence report shows most New Zealanders feel they are in good, very good or excellent health. “We are living longer, and our health expectancy – how long we live in good health – is increasing too,’’ David Clark says. “The rate of premature deaths which …

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A new study should be the final nail for open-plan offices

19 July 2018 Libby Sander - Stuff

Open-plan offices have taken off because of a desire to increase interaction and collaboration among workers. But an innovative new study has found that employees in open-plan offices spend 73 per cent less time in face-to-face interactions. Email and messaging use shot up by over 67 per cent. The study is the first to track the impacts of open-plan offices using objective measures of communication. It used electronic badges and microphones to monitor interactions among employees and tracked changes in email use. …

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Nurses back at bargaining table, but will DHBs offer more money?

17 July 2018 Katarina Williams - Stuff

It will be a case of who blinks first, as the mexican standoff between nurses and the District Health Boards (DHBs) over pay and conditions resumes. New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation (NZNO) members want more financial investment, but their DHB employers and the government have publicly claimed no more money was available to bolster its current offer. Nevertheless, both parties are back at taking their seats around the negotiating table today – less than a week after nurses, healthcare assistants and midwives across …

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Auckland, Northland hospital computer systems within minutes of failing – report

17 July 2018 Phil Pennington - Radio New Zealand

Computer systems serving Auckland and Northland’s public hospitals were within four minutes of failing, according to an internal health board report. This followed a power cut at Middlemore Hospital just after lunch on an unspecified date in September last year, said a hospital advisory committee report of March 2018 released under the Official Information Act to RNZ. “Power went out … causing the hospital to go dark. Backup generators subsequently failed to come online.” The hospital’s back-up battery system, called an …

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ACC advisors go on strike

17 July 2018 ASMS

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) medical advisors are taking strike action for four hours today from 8am over their stalled employment agreement negotiations. Lloyd Woods, a senior industrial officer at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS), which represents most of the medical advisors employed by ACC, said the 39 medical advisors poised to walk off the job have “had a gutsful of their employer’s cavalier approach to their pay, conditions and well-being.” “It’s only the second time ever that we …

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NHS operation waiting lists reach 10-year high at 4.3m patients

17 July 2018 Denis Campbell - The Guardian

The number of patients waiting for an operation on the NHS has reached 4.3 million, the highest total for 10 years, official figures show. Growing numbers are having to wait more than the supposed maximum of 18 weeks for planned non-urgent surgery such as a cataract removal or hip or knee replacement. In May, for example, 211,434 patients had been on the waiting list for more than six months, up from the 197,067 who were in that position …

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Hundleby ‘on gardening leave’ from ministry, amid scrutiny of his work

17 July 2018 Virginia McMillan - New Zealand Doctor

Relationships and capital projects are said to be involved in a period of “gardening leave” for a top health official. New Zealand Doctor could not get a response from the Ministry of Health directly addressing comments in the health sector on the absence from duty of critical projects director Michael Hundleby. We understand an investigation is under way while Mr Hundleby is on leave. The ministry would provide no comment today on the existence or not of any investigation. It reiterated …

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New Zealand hospital staff abused daily: ‘It’s time to talk’

17 July 2018 Emma Russel - New Zealand Herald

Hospital staff nationwide are being abused daily with reports of death threats, nurses being punched in the face and wrists being broken. New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association spoke to the Herald about the increasing number of “extremely violent” incidents by patients and their family members towards staff. “It’s a real concern and I think it’s time we have a hard conversation about it. Hospital staff are not being respected and that needs to change,” NZRDA national secretary Dr Deborah Powell said. Read …

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Canterbury police responding to ‘scary’ increase in suicide-related calls

17 July 2018 Oliver Lewis - Stuff

Suicide-related call-outs for police in Canterbury continue to increase beyond anywhere else in the country seven years on from the earthquakes. The district’s top cop described the year-on-year increases as “scary” and said: “we are concerned that our community is hurting”. A new Canterbury police intelligence report shows attempted/threatened suicide call-outs increased 64 per cent from 2311 in 2013 to 3809 in 2017, which equates to about 10 a day. The increase outstrips national figures, which record a roughly 50 per …

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