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

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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UK medical cannabis expert wants Kiwi doctors upskilled

16 July 2019 Radio New Zealand - Nine to Noon

The UK neurologist who will advise NZ doctors on prescribing medicinal cannabis, professor Mike Barnes is calling on the profession here to get itself ready to prescribe the drug.  Endorsed by the Royal NZ College of GPs, he will give talks around the country later this month. He is recognised as the leading European expert on medicinal cannabis. In 2016 Professor Barnes was tasked with writing a report for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform on the …

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Former Fraser Health CEO won’t be charged with criminal fraud

12 July 2019 Vancouver Sun - Pamela Fayerman

Former Fraser Health CEO Dr. Nigel Murray won’t have to face criminal fraud charges in New Zealand over his expenses after all. A year-long investigation by that country’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) fizzled out this week when it was announced by SFO director Julie Read that it would be too costly to prove criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt and was therefore not in the public interest. Read mentioned that investigators would have to, among other things, travel …

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Inaction on alcohol a ‘glaring exception’ from mental health recommendations – expert

12 July 2019 NewsHub - Katie Fitzgerald

Alcohol experts are angered by what they’re calling Government inaction on curbing excessive drinking, even after it was recommended by the mental health and addiction inquiry. The report on New Zealand’s mental health care recommended a number of sweeping changes, including on the sale and supply of alcohol. The Government accepted most of the reviews 40 reccomendations, but said “further consideration needed” for the suggestions relating to alcohol sale and the decriminalisation of drugs. Read more here:

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