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 working group replacement criticised

Other News 12 February 2019 Radio New Zealand - Jess McAllen

The 21-member working group set up to advise the government’s response to the mental health inquiry has been replaced with several more working groups. But mental health advocates have said the process runs the risk of unnecessarily repeating the inquiry. The 200-page mental health inquiry report was handed to the government in November. The inquiry panel held more than 400 meetings across New Zealand and had about 5000 submissions. Read more here:

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New details of spending by Dr Nigel Murray emerge in Waikato DHB draft investigation report

Other News 12 February 2019 Natalie Akoorie - New Zealand Herald

A damning internal investigation into the irregular expenses of a health board boss show personal spending and attempts to conceal the breaches. But a lawyer for Dr Nigel Murray said the report was only ever a draft and was subject to change. The Waikato District Health Board’s investigation into its then chief executive’s spending has never been released to the public until now. The 46-page report by barrister Maria Dew, dated September 22, 2017, was released to the Herald, under the …

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Junior doctors’ strike a ‘concerning situation’ for stressed senior doctors

Other News 11 February 2019 Radio New Zealand - Karen Brown

Some senior doctors are calling for an end to the row between junior doctors and district health boards, saying each strike is more damaging to patient care and is unacceptable. Junior doctors will strike again tomorrow until early Thursday in their row with their employers over proposed changes to sections of their employment contract dealing with rosters. Both sides were in mediation twice last week, and more mediation is planned for Friday, but there is no sign of compromise. In a …

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Sydney hospital faces trainee ban over junior doctor scandal

Other News 7 February 2019 Kate Aubusson - SMH

A specialist unit at Bankstown Hospital could lose the privilege of training young surgeons after a junior doctor was hospitalised for exhaustion, despite repeated pleas for help. Dr Yumiko Kadota has ignited a firestorm of outrage from surgeons and other medicos, describing her dangerous workload in the plastic and reconstructive surgery department at the south-west Sydney hospital that left her physically and mentally “broken”.   Read more here:

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Departing HWNZ boss says independence needed to fix ‘unworkable’ agency

Other News 7 February 2019 Cliff Taylor - New Zealand Doctor

The departing head of Health Workforce New Zealand says the organisation’s structure has been “completely unwork­able” for years and starved of resources. Executive chair Des Gorman, who has resigned after nearly 10 years in the job, is also not convinced the shake-up of the agency announced by health minister David Clark will be ef­fective, saying HWNZ needs to be more independent from the Ministry of Health. But Professor Gorman is con­fident the relationship between HWNZ, which funds most GP training, …

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How we can overcome cancer inequality in New Zealand

Other News 7 February 2019 Donna Chisholm - The Listener

Māori are 20% more likely than non-Māori to get cancer, and nearly twice as likely to die from it, and addressing disparities in incidence and care will be a key focus of cancer strategy into the future. Public health physician Dr Nina Scott, chair of Hei Āhuru Mōwai, the national Māori cancer leadership group, says inequities exist at almost every step of the cancer-care pathway. Overall, Māori are diagnosed late, referred late, seen late and offered and …

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Study shows severe illnesses in pregnancy not being managed appropriately

Other News 7 February 2019 Emma Jolliff - Newshub

A new study has found only one-third of severe illnesses in pregnancy are being managed appropriately, and many of those illnesses are potentially preventable. Severe maternal morbidity, or SMM, is a near-death experience in pregnancy, childbirth or the termination of a pregnancy. “When we go through pregnancy we have different things that happen to us, we can have haemorrhages, high blood pressure, infections and all of these are life threatening,” says Beverley Lawton, a Professor of Women’s Health Research. They …

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Ageing populations a huge challenge for policymakers

Other News 7 February 2019 Nine to Noon - RNZ

The challenges facing Government policy makers as Australasia faces ageing populations, UNSW Scientia Professor of Economics John Piggott has been selected to lead a task force helping G20 nations decide how they will cope with aging populations. For more, listen to the interview here:

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Hospital specialists under increasing pressure due to under-estimated strength of strikes

ASMS News 4 February 2019 Media Release - ASMS

“Health bosses have under-estimated both the level of support for the ongoing strikes by resident (junior) doctors and the impact on hospital specialists who are shouldering heavy workloads as a result,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). Resident medical officers (RMOs) who belong to the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) have walked off the job twice over stalled negotiations on a new collective employment agreement, and plan to strike again for 48 hours from …

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‘We’ve finally got a treatment’: Hep C drug now funded

Other News 1 February 2019 Radio New Zealand - Karen Brown

Pharmac now funds the expensive drug Maviret. Hepatitis C is a highly infectious, blood-borne virus that can cause cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer or other fatal complications. It is estimated that 50,000 New Zealanders are estimated to have it, 60 percent of whom do not know. Auckland man Stephen Hassan was diagnosed six months ago, following intravenous drug use in the past. “I wouldn’t have thought to get tested because I don’t use IV drugs anymore. “Getting a diagnosis …

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