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

More effort needed to fix the gaps in health care

ASMS News 8 August 2019 Media Release - ASMS

To relieve the mounting pressure on health services, the divide between hospitals and community health services must be fixed, according to a Research Brief published today by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “Government policy is to work as ‘one team’ but very little is being done to act on it,” says ASMS Senior Researcher and Policy Advisor Lyndon Keene. “Canterbury District Health Board has developed a world-leading model to integrate hospital and community services with promising results.  But …

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$55 million cut to District Health Board mental health funding revealed

ASMS News 8 August 2019 Media Release - ASMS

A significant tightening in District Health Board mental health funding has been revealed as the Government appears to be shuffling money around mental health. In a joint working paper analysis of Budget 2019, Council of Trade Unions Economist Bill Rosenberg and Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Director of Policy and Research Lyndon Keene estimate, in real terms, a $55 million shortfall in DHBs’ mental health funding that is ring-fenced for those with severe needs. “The high threshold to be eligible …

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Vote Health funding falls short – again

ASMS News 8 August 2019 Media Release - ASMS

A post-Budget analysis of Vote Health funding has confirmed that health spending as a proportion of the economy continues to fall well short of what is needed. Jointly conducted by the Council of Trade Unions and the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, it estimates Vote Health has lost $1.6 billion spending power in the past decade. It comes as a newly released Ministry of Health financial report puts projected District Health Board deficits at $508 million this year. ASMS Executive …

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Why the Serious Fraud Office closed case against Waikato DHB boss Nigel Murray

Other News 6 August 2019 Natalie Akoorie - New Zealand Herald

Criminal charges against Dr Nigel Murray for his use of taxpayer money while in charge of a district health board were abandoned by the Serious Fraud Office because of the cost involved in interviewing witnesses in Canada. In July, after a 19-month investigation, the Serious Fraud Office announced it would not pursue a case against the former Waikato DHB chief executive and closed its investigation, raising the ire of those who complained about his spending. Read more here:

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Connecting medical specialists

Other News 6 August 2019 ASMS

Pilot project Experts in Healthcare Exchange or EHE is looking at how empowered and connected senior doctors are as a group. The aim is to maximise a sense of community among senior healthcare professionals globally and increase the chances for collaboration and community involvement. A two minute survey has been created to gauge the landscape initially. The proposals include an exchange programme for medical specialists (UK, Canada and NZ) and a dedicated online platform to share and connect through ideas …

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More investment in hospital specialist workforce needed to tackle ballooning deficits

ASMS News 6 August 2019 Media Release - ASMS

“The size of hospital deficits is yet another sign the Government needs to invest more in the health workforce, including hospital specialists,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “It might seem counter-intuitive to suggest spending more money when DHBs are already in the red but spending it in the right ways – for example, by providing more specialists to diagnose and treat patients, and actively supporting greater clinical leadership – would be a …

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Hospital specialists welcome Government boost for cancer care

ASMS News 5 August 2019 Media Release - ASMS

The senior doctors’ union is welcoming the Government’s announcement of improvements to cancer care. “It will go some way to improving the care available for people living with cancer and their families, and it will be welcome news for hospital specialists who provide cancer treatment,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). He was commenting on the Government’s announcement that it will replace aging radiation machines and for the first time make radiation treatment …

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January surgery programme on cards

Other News 2 August 2019 Mike Houlahan - Otago Daily Times

The Southern District Health Board is considering whether to repeat this year’s push to increase the amount of elective surgery it does. In January, when operating theatres are generally less used, the SDHB ran an expanded surgical programme to perform more revenue-gaining elective surgery and address waiting lists. Unexpectedly, the extra surgeries saw extra cancer cases being diagnosed, which led to the radiation oncology waiting list increasing by more than 100 patients – a situation which an SDHB commissioners’ meeting …

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Thames Hospital’s warrant of fitness revoked

Other News 2 August 2019 Kelly Tantau - Stuff

Thames Hospital is without a warrant of fitness after possible firestopping​ defects failed to impress council. In June, the hospital was named as one of 13 Waikato DHB buildings which did not have their warrant of fitness. But on Monday, the DHB issued a warrant for Thames Hospital and its separate birthing unit. However, it was quickly revoked after queries were raised by the Thames-Coromandel District Council. Operations group manager Bruce Hinson​ said council’s concerns were that the BWOFs were overdue and that fire separations at the …

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Northland GP urges health board to eradicate institutional racism

Other News 2 August 2019 Lois Williams - Radio New Zealand

A Northland GP is urging the district health board to be honest about institutional racism in its health services and stamp it out. Kyle Eggleton, who works for Māori health provider Ki A Ora Ngātiwai, said systemic bias was a factor in disastrous Māori health statistics. Dr Eggleton said he audited himself for bias when he worked in general practice and thought he’d be squeaky clean. But he found he was much less likely to prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs to Māori …

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