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

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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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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