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

Doctors call for urgent reversal of food industry self-policing in battle against obesity

ASMS News 17 December 2019 Media Release - ASMS

Senior hospital doctors are calling on the Health Minister to urgently reverse a decision which allows the food industry to self-regulate efforts to tackle obesity, saying it runs counter to the government’s Wellbeing Budget. Delegates at the annual conference of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists overwhelmingly passed a resolution stating: “The Association abhors the failure of the Minister of Health to regulate the food industry and calls on him to immediately pass regulations that will prevent dental caries and …

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Whakaari/White Island: Burns surgeon with three-month-old back from maternity leave to help injured

Other News 16 December 2019 Libby Wilson - Stuff

Burns specialist Deirdre Seoighe arrived at work with a three-month-old baby in tow. Within minutes the Irish born surgeon was grappling with burns in numbers she had never seen before while staffers cuddled her tiny baby. At hospital she slogged so hard and for so long that she couldn’t remember how many hours she worked either in theatre or on the wards coordinating the massive effort to save lives after the Whakaari / White Island eruption. “It is a bit stressful to see this number …

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Whakaari tragedy: message of support to NZ specialists

ASMS News 12 December 2019 ASMOF

ASMS  has received a message of support from our colleagues on the other side of the Tasman. The President of the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation Geoff Dobb said: “We have been following the events unfolding in NZ from this side of the Tasman with great sadness, but also admiration for the emergency response teams and the medical staff caring for the survivors. The workload for your plastic surgeons, intensivists, anaesthetists and others who support them must be extreme, especially …

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Three decades of speaking up for senior doctors

Other News 12 December 2019 RNZ - Nine to Noon

Ian Powell sat down with RNZ Nine to Noon host Kathryn Ryan to reflect on his 30 years as the public face of ASMS.  He was the the Association’s first Executive Director in 1989, when the union had 1200 members. It now has 5000.  He spoke to Kathryn Ryan about years of fighting for the pay and conditions of medical specialists and being a vocal advocate for the public health.  Have a listen here.     

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Further evidence of doctor burnout and workload pressures

ASMS News 11 December 2019 ASMS Media Release

The senior doctors’ union, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, is welcoming a report from the Medical Protection Society which provides further evidence of doctor burnout and high workload pressures. The “Breaking the burnout cycle” report shows 44% of 300 doctors surveyed are not satisfied with their work/life balance, and 41% have considered leaving the profession over issues of wellbeing. A corresponding survey of dental professionals reveals similar trends. ASMS represents senior doctors and dentists in New Zealand’s …

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DHBs must address leadership culture – Ian Powell

Other News 11 December 2019 Ian Powell - ODT

Ian Powell, executive director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, has led the union since its formation in 1989. He leaves ASMS at the end of the year, and is gravely concerned about the state of district health boards, particularly the Southern DHB. Read more. 

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Updated Statement on informed consent

Other News 9 December 2019 Medical Council of New Zealand

The Medical Council has recently revisited its Statement on informed consent. Informed consent is a very important aspect of care. This statement sets out the standards of good medical practice when discussing options for treatment and obtaining consent from patients. We are pleased to share this statement with you. Some important points The key points about informed consent are: Every time treatment is provided, a doctor must have permission to provide that treatment. The process of obtaining that permission …

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ASMS message to DHB Chairs and appointees

ASMS News 9 December 2019 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) welcomes the District Health Board Chairs and board appointees announced by Health Minister David Clark. “We wish them all the best for their tenure and congratulate them for their dedication to the public health service in agreeing to serve,” ASMS Executive Director Ian Powell says. The appointment of four Māori Chairs is a positive development. There are 13 new Chairs and nearly half of the total 76 appointees are women. The appointees join …

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Electives only half the story

ASMS News 9 December 2019 Media Release - ASMS

A drop in elective procedures is a symptom of a public health system overwhelmed by acute patients surging into hospitals requiring immediate and often life-saving care, says Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) Executive Director Ian Powell. A story (paywalled) in the Herald on Sunday today shows that for the first time in a decade the annual number of elective (pre-planned non-acute procedures) has dropped. The figure is almost 6000 surgeries lower than the previous year. Mr Powell says the …

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Senseless killing of Japanese doctor condemned

Other News 6 December 2019 World Medical Association

The World Medical Association has condemned as “abhorrent” the killing of a Japanese doctor in Afghanistan. Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, who had devoted his career to improving the lives of Afghans, was shot by gunmen in an attack in the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. He died of his injuries. His three security guards, his driver and a colleague were also killed in the attack. The full press release is available here.

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