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

Increase in doctors welcome amid unprecedented demand

ASMS News 7 October 2019 Media Release - ASMS

Figures showing an increase in District Health Board employed doctors are positive, but the health service is under immense pressure, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) Acting Executive Director Angela Belich says. Ms Belich was commenting on figures released by Health Minister David Clark showing an increase in doctors, nurses, and midwives: “Our members are reporting unprecedented pressure in hospitals around the country. We are seeing a surge in patients presenting with acute illness, and growing demand for …

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Facilities at Dunedin’s Wakari Hospital not fit: report

Other News 1 October 2019 Mike Houlahan - Otago Daily Times

Almost all of Wakari Hospital’s mental health facilities are not fit for purpose, pose safety risks to patients and staff, and hinder appropriate treatment of patients, a critical report of the facility says. The Southern District Health Board accepts that many of Wakari’s buildings are not fit for purpose and has been exploring options to upgrade and replace them. However, a confidential report supplied to the Otago Daily Times stresses the pressing need for action, with several buildings approaching the …

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Pressure on NHS is breaking doctors’ morale, says psychiatrist

Other News 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

Other News 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

Other News 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

Other News 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

Other News 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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Urgent need to resolve industrial disputes

ASMS News 27 September 2019 Media Release - ASMS

District Health Boards must act urgently to resolve an industrial dispute affecting four separate groups of health professionals in order to prevent planned strikes, says Angela Belich, Acting Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists. Ms Belich was commenting on the strikes planned by radiographers, sonographers, lab workers and psychologists: ( Ms Belich says senior doctors in affected DHBs are calling for an urgent resolution of the industrial dispute. “Many senior doctors affected by these strikes are …

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Young people take action on climate change

ASMS News 26 September 2019 Media Release - ASMS

The young people taking part in climate action events around New Zealand tomorrow are raising awareness of a serious environmental threat, says Angela Belich, Acting Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “Climate change is a serious threat to human health and well-being. Our young people are taking a lead in highlighting this issue because they fear for their future if climate change is not dealt with. “Many ASMS members are involved in sustainability and climate action …

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Files gather dust as Pasifika health outcomes stagnate

Other News 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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