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

Canterbury District Health Board reviewing services to claw back large deficit

20 September 2019 Oliver Lewis - Stuff

The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) has confirmed it is reviewing services as it faces a forecast $180 million deficit. Documents prepared for a board meeting on Thursday show the CDHB was forecasting the deficit for the 2019-20 year, a substantial increase on the $109m overspend it posted in 2018-19, by far the largest in the country. The $180m figure included anticipated taskforce savings, according to documents prepared for the meeting. Read more here:

Read more »

Motels frequently used as Wellington Hospital deals with high patient demand

20 September 2019 Katarina Williams - Stuff

Motels are being used frequently to house out-of-town surgical patients, as dozens have their operations rescheduled because of a lack of intensive care beds. The stance on motel use was at loggerheads with the view of Health Minister David Clark who believed this form of temporary patient accommodation did “not appear to be widespread”. Details about Capital & Coast District Health Board’s (CCDHB) motel use have surfaced, as hospital occupancy rates in the 12 months to July reached 90 per cent and above for almost three quarters …

Read more »

Southern DHB’s only neurosurgeon says lives at risk

18 September 2019 Indira Stewart - Radio New Zealand

The only neurosurgeon working for the Southern District Health board area says patients are at risk because there aren’t enough neurosurgeons and he’s calling on the government to help. Dr Ahmad Taha says the lack of qualified physicians available to support him means he has to be on call to perform lifesaving surgery anytime day or night. “It’s a big workload but there’s no other choice. Either I will do my job or people will lose lives or they’ll lose …

Read more »

Health Minister: Charity hospital in Southland is not a long-term solution

18 September 2019 Damian Rowe - Stuff

A charity hospital in Southland may not have been needed if the Southern DHB followed recommendations in a damning external audit of colonoscopy services and bowel cancer in the south. Professor Philip Bagshaw is working with Blair and Melissa Vining who hope to establish the charity hospital to ensure other Southlanders get timely access to, initially, bowel cancer diagnosis, to improve their chances of survival. The Southern DHB has the lowest rate of colonoscopy diagnoses and there is no indication from the DHB that anything is …

Read more »

The reluctant leader: He kaihautū, he whakatōngā

16 September 2019 Alan Perrott - New Zealand Doctor

Curtis Walker talks to Alan Perrott about leadership, identifying as Māori and why flagpoles sometimes must come down Kei te korero a Curtis Walker ki a Alan Perrott mō te kaihautūtanga, mō te tuakiri Māori, ā, mō tika ki tōna wā o te tope o te pouhaki Subtle and gentle “Subtle and gentle, but in an immovable kind of way.” The Medical Council of New Zealand chair is describing his deceased yet ever-present koro, Ranginui Walker. Like his grandfather – an activist, university professor, …

Read more »

More Māori and Pacific health workers should be doctors, nurses and managers – Dr Matire Harwood

16 September 2019 Carmen Parahi - Stuff

The small number of Māori health practitioners in New Zealand means most hold multiple, varying roles to fill gaps in the health system. Dr Matire Harwood exemplifies the multi-tasking expected of Māori working in health. She is currently a general practitioner, health researcher and Waitematā DHB board member who has worked at the coalface of health for the last 25 years. “We need Māori involved at all levels of the health system,” says Harwood. “It won’t just benefit Māori, it …

Read more »

An open letter to MPs: No-deal Brexit could cause significant harm to health and social care

9 September 2019 King's Fund - open letter

This morning the Nuffield Trust, the Health Foundation and The King’s Fund have published an open letter to all MPs regarding the implications of a no deal Brexit for health and care services. As the Government launches its public campaign to prepare for a no deal Brexit and MPs return from recess tomorrow with a short window to discuss the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, the letter summarises four major areas where the impact …

Read more »

Auckland surgeon donates $1 million to help Pasifika students become doctors

9 September 2019 Jane Phare - NZ Herald

An Auckland surgeon and his wife have donated $1 million to help Pasifika students qualify as doctors. Aucklanders John and Rose Dunn are a little self-conscious about having an endowment fund named after themselves. Their $1 million John and Rose Dunn Pasifika Fund will contribute to course fees and accommodation costs through the University of Auckland School of Medicine Foundation. Although the Dunns have always been philanthropic, they’re normally quiet givers and were reluctant to be interviewed or have the …

Read more »

Suicide prevention announcement in weeks – Health Minister

27 August 2019 Radio New Zealand - Checkpoint

The Māori Council has described the latest suicide statistics as a ‘rolling train wreck’. The figures were released officially late on Monday afternoon after the Council broke the Chief Coroner’s embargo originally scheduled for tomorrow. It showed there were 685 suicides in the year to June 30 – 17 more than last year. Māori suicides which were already disproportionately high – they’ve jumped further, with 169 Māori people dying by suicide in the year to June 30, up 27 from …

Read more »

Tobacco company’s offer ‘part lobbying playbook’

27 August 2019 Radio New Zealand - Morning Report

Tobacco giant Philip Morris approached a district health board offering to give devices away at no cost for “community-based trials, data collection and monitoring”. The company claimed there would be a significant public health benefit in the plan – especially for Maori, Pasifika and low income groups. After inquiries from RNZ, the Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield emailed all DHBs warning them not to accept the Philip Morris offer. Richard Edwards of Otago University’s Department of Public Health says …

Read more »