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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Pressure on NHS is breaking doctors’ morale, says psychiatrist

1 October 2019 Denis Campbell - The Guardian

Dr Julia Patterson of campaign group EveryDoctor tells why she quit health service ‘cut back to its very bones’ Julia Patterson recalls clearly the moment she decided she had to quit two things she treasured – practising medicine and working in the NHS – in order to safeguard her own mental health. “I loved my job,” she said. “I love psychiatry, but I could no longer go to work every day without tackling what was happening.” She broke …

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Hospitals under pressure as radiographers strike

1 October 2019 Radio New Zealand - Checkpoint

Most public hospitals were under intense pressure on Monday, caring for patients without routine access to x-rays and scans. Hundreds of radiographers belonging to the Apex union walked off wards early in the morning in a day-long strike that will be repeated on Wednesday. RNZ health correspondent Karen Brown has the details: 

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Call to end dog-transmitted human rabies by 2030

1 October 2019 World Medical Association

A call for the total elimination of dog-transmitted human rabies by 2030 has come from the World Veterinary Association (WVA) and the World Medical Association (WMA). The two organizations have joined forces to mark World Rabies Day tomorrow (September 28) in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Rabies Control. An estimated 60,000 people die from rabies each year, mainly affecting poorer people and children between the ages of five and 15. A majority of these deaths, about 97 percent, are …

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More left ED without treatment

27 September 2019 Mike Houlahan - Otago Daily Times

Dunedin Hospital’s emergency department has had a big increase in people leaving without being treated. In a recent six-week period, almost 500 people opted to leave rather than wait to see a clinician, a report to yesterday’s Southern District Health Board commissioners meeting said. Specialist services executive director Patrick Ng had analysed emergency department data from the past three years, and focused particularly on July 1 to mid-August – usually a time when winter ailments lead to patient numbers rising …

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Call for SFO to reopen Nigel Murray spending inquiry after Auditor-General slates HealthTap purchase

27 September 2019 Natalie Akoorie - New Zealand Herald

Former Labour MP Sue Moroney has called on the Serious Fraud Office to reopen its investigation into the spending of Dr Nigel Murray in light of an Auditor-General’s inquiry into the purchase of an online doctor app. The ex-Waikato District Health Board chief executive, together with former board chairman Bob Simcock, has been criticised over the flawed procurement of HealthTap in 2015, in an report released today by the Auditor-General. It comes as Simcock told the Herald he was comfortable …

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Files gather dust as Pasifika health outcomes stagnate

26 September 2019 Alan Perrott - New Zealand Doctor

Appalling outcomes normalised Appalling Pasifika health outcomes are being normalised by a medical system that refuses to change, says researcher Debbie Ryan. Dr Ryan was one of three researchers from consultancy Pacific Perspectives commissioned by the Health and Disability System Review Panel to outline the health equity issues faced by Pasifika families and communities. She has little faith her work will make a difference. “The results we get are the ones the system is set up to deliver, and when …

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Government budgets $9.5m for sweeping health and disability system review

26 September 2019 Oliver Lewis - Stuff

The Government has set aside about $9.5 million for a wide-ranging review of the health system. The budget for the health and disability system review, released to Stufffollowing an Official Information Act (OIA) request, comprises $639,000 for chair and panel member costs, more than $5.5m for secretariat and consultant/contractor costs, $1m for travel and accommodation and $2.3m for general costs. National’s health spokesman Michael Woodhouse said the $9.5m was “definitely not value for money while the panel hasn’t come up with a single …

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NZMA declares climate change a health emergency

25 September 2019 Media release - NZMA

The New Zealand Medical Association declares climate change a serious and leading threat to health and health equity, both in New Zealand and worldwide. NZMA has joined health organisations worldwide, including sister organisations the Australian Medical Association, American Medical Association and British Medical Association in recognising climate change as a health emergency. At its September meeting in Wellington the NZMA Board declared that climate change is already having severe health consequences on vulnerable populations around the world, including in our …

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Wellington Regional Hospital among ‘many’ hospitals ‘too small for population’

23 September 2019 Katarina Williams - Stuff

Wellington Regional Hospital is one of “many hospitals” which are too small for the population they service, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) says. In response, Capital & Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) has recognised it is “going to need more hospital beds to meet demand” as the region’s population exceeds half a million, according to the latest Census data released on Monday. A Stuff story published on Friday revealed motels were being frequently used by the DHB to accommodate some surgical patients. Read more …

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Cost of fixing DHB payroll breaches revealed

20 September 2019 Phil Pennington - Radio New Zealand

Several district health boards have come up with multi-million-dollar estimates of what it will cost to fix years of payroll breaches. But the true picture is only expected to emerge from this point on, as a nationally agreed way of auditing the DHBs begins. Northland DHB is first up, with the board and unions now working together using the national guidelines – that took three years to agree on – to arrive at a firm figure of who is owed …

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