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

Mental Health and Addiction report charts new direction

Other News 4 December 2018 Media Release - Health Minister Dr David Clark

Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rethink how we handle some of the biggest challenges we face as a country. The Government has today publicly released the report of the Inquiry in full, less than a week after receiving it. “Mental health and addiction are issues for all New Zealanders. Every community and just about every family has someone in it that has lived with a mental health …

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Historic strike planned as Ora Toa GPs show solidarity with dentists

Other News 4 December 2018 Simon Maude - New Zealand Doctor

A PHO’s refusal to let dentists join a collective agreement has triggered what is believed to be New Zealand’s first–ever strike by GPs. Twenty-one GPs employed by Ora Toa PHO at five Wellington region practices willtake industrial action on six dates. Association of Salaried Medical Specialists senior industrial officer Lloyd Woods says GPs will hold five one-hour stoppages from 9am on 7, 10, 13, 18 and 19 December, followed by a full–day Christmas Eve strike. Ora Toa won’t let the GPs’ two dental colleagues join the collective agreement negotiated by ASMS, Mr Woods says in a media release. …

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NZMA supports call for safe staffing levels

Other News 4 December 2018 Media Release - NZMA

 The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) supports the call by Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) for safe staffing levels for senior doctors and urges the Government to address the workload pressures and burnout for all doctors regardless of whether they are working in our hospitals or in the community. “Our membership encompasses the entire health system and regardless of healthcare setting, the supply of doctors is insufficient to meet healthcare demands” said Dr Kate Baddock, NZMA Chair. “An accord …

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Wellington GPs plan rolling strikes in the lead-up to Christmas over exclusion of dentists from collective agreement

ASMS News 3 December 2018 Media Release - ASMS

Doctors at five Wellington practices plan to walk off the job in support of their dental colleagues – believed to be the first time a strike has taken place in a GP practice. Twenty-one GPs employed by Te Rūnanga O Toa Rangatira (Ora Toa Primary Health) practices across Porirua and in Newtown in Wellington have overwhelmingly voted for a series of rolling stoppages, says Lloyd Woods, Senior Industrial Officer at the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). These include five …

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Senior doctors call on Health Minister to support safe staffing accord in public hospitals

ASMS News 3 December 2018 Media Release - ASMS

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) is calling on Health Minister David Clark to support the development of a safe staffing accord with senior doctors and dentists working in public hospitals. “Hospital specialists, like nurses and other frontline health workers, continue to suffer from high workloads caused by years of under-resourcing and neglect of the public health system, and problems with high levels of burnout and forced to work while sick and infectious,” says ASMS Executive Director Ian Powell. …

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Cheaper visits to the doctor and free GP visits for under-14-year-olds begins tomorrow

Other News 30 November 2018 Jason Walls - New Zealand Herald

A suite of new Government health initiatives, which Jacinda Ardern says will make going to the doctor cheaper for more than half a million Kiwis, comes into effect tomorrow. From Saturday, December 1, up to 540,000 Community Service Card holders will receive cheaper doctor’s visits. In this year’s budget, the Government announced it would spend $363 million on making doctor’s visits $20-$30 cheaper for cardholders, as well as extending the eligibility for the Community Services Card to people receiving the …

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Persistent pain: One in five New Zealanders suffer and many can’t get good help

Other News 30 November 2018 Martin Johnston - New Zealand Herald

One in five New Zealanders live with persistent pain and the health system struggles to deal with the problem effectively, researchers say. Writing in today’s New Zealand Medical Journal, University of Otago psychology expert Dr Nicola Swain and colleagues say: “pain is extremely common and increasing in prevalence in New Zealand … and current biomedical treatment is often ineffective”. “Pain is stealing people’s lives. As we live longer and are more healthy, pain is an increasing issue,” said Swain. She said …

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Elderly man waits nearly six months to be seen by DHB eye specialist, now he’s blind

Other News 30 November 2018 Emma Russell - New Zealand Herald

An elderly man had to make at least seven visits to his doctor and optometrist over a five-and-a-half-month period before the DHB would see him for deteriorating eyesight – by which time he was “essentially blind”. Allan Darlow was given a minor change in his prescription after having a routine eye exam at Specsavers in Tauranga in June last year. A month and a half later he visited his GP after suffering a fall. That started a process during which …

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Female doctors struggling with significant work-life conflict, bias, bullying and burnout

Other News 30 November 2018 One News

New research shows female doctors and other medical professionals are facing major issues in the workplace including significant work/life conflict, gender bias, bullying and burnout. The research was carried out by the union for senior doctors and dentists and was prompted by an earlier study which highlighted the growing number of women in the medical profession suffering from burnout. The lead researcher says unless the issue is addressed, the country’s shortage of doctors will get worse as more women avoid the …

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Gaps in senior doctor staffing amid fears of compassion fatigue

Other News 30 November 2018 Virginia McMillan - New Zealand Doctor

DHBs need about 20 per cent more doctors to deal with the patients they’re seeing, says Murray Barclay, new president of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists. The figure comes from member surveys and economic analysis by the association, which has also found that a quarter of senior doctors plan to leave the medical workforce within five years. Professor Barclay says he was motivated to take on his new role by a desire to do anything he could to ensure the country gets more doctors. “Ultimately, the …

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