We are the union for salaried doctors and dentists.

We promote, protect and support the interests of our members in all aspects of their working lives. We are working for an equitable, accessible public health care system that meets the needs of all New Zealanders.

  • News

Crunching the numbers on staffing shortages

ASMS News 15 July 2020 ASMS

For the past few years ASMS has been running surveys to estimate specialist staffing needs across departments in all DHBs.  Clinical leaders were asked how many SMO full-time equivalents are needed to provide a safe and quality service for patients. All the numbers have now been crunched. We estimate that overall there is an average SMO staffing shortfall nationwide of around 24%. You can see how your DHB measures up.

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Hospital upgrade won’t end ice blocks on wards

ASMS News 9 July 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says it’s a shame that a multi-million-dollar upgrade package for Hawkes Bay Hospital does not include desperately needed air-conditioning for its wards. The government has announced a $14.2 million package to redevelop and expand radiology and surgical services to increase capacity, create larger clinical spaces, and reduce waiting times. ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says it’s great to see Hawkes Bay Hospital getting some much-needed attention for its cramped and rundown facilities. “But it …

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Quick-fire lessons for new Health Minister

ASMS News 2 July 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists welcomes Chris Hipkins to the role of Health Minister following the resignation of David Clark. “We look forward to working with Mr Hipkins and talking with him as he comes up to speed with the complexity and challenges of our health system,” says Executive Director Sarah Dalton. She says taking on the health portfolio along with education will be a big ask. “The Government has delivered some very large budget increases for health this …

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Don’t let your health be treated like an exercise in practical accounting

ASMS News 29 June 2020 ASMS comment piece

ASMS has expressed concern about the relentless focus on cost-cutting by the the Canterbury DHB along with the Government’s punitive capital charge regime which may lead to staff cuts. It’s not the only DHB under pressure to slash staffing costs.  ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton wrote an open letter to the people of Canterbury published on Stuff and in The Press. 

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The Specialist – out now!

ASMS News 24 June 2020 ASMS

In this issue we look into the role of public health during the Covid crisis, and we hear from a Kiwi doctor in London on his experience of the pandemic there. There’s also an article on the state of SMO overnight accommodation, an analysis of the Health Budget and we talk to the country’s only two doctors in Parliament.

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The Health and Disability System Review report at first glance

19 June 2020 ASMS

It’s been a long wait but the final report by the independent Health and Disability System Review has been released by the Government. The Review, commissioned by the Health Minister in May 2018, represents a major overhaul of the health and disability sector and promises large-scale reform not seen in a generation. ASMS is still digesting the 264-page report and is preparing a more detailed analysis. In the meantime, we have put together some initial thoughts to share with members. 

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Simpson Review puts health jigsaw into a more joined up picture

ASMS News 16 June 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says on first impressions, the long-awaited recommendations out of the Simpson Health and Disability System Review are sensible and would help join up what has become the fractured delivery of health care in New Zealand. The creation of a new agency called Health NZ to manage health service delivery, facilities, IT, and to oversee employment strategy, represents a welcome approach. ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says having more centralised and integrated oversight is welcome. …

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Deep diving into this year’s health budget

ASMS News 15 June 2020 ASMS

Budget 2020 delivered the biggest boost to health in ten years but will it really make a real difference in helping to rebuild an overloaded health system which has faced years of chronic underfunding?  We believe it’s important to know exactly how and where the health dollar is being spent. This year ASMS commissioned one of New Zealand’s leading independent economic forecasting and consultancy businesses, Infometrics, to analyse this year’s health budget and crunch the numbers.

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Dire state of hospital infrastructure comes as no surprise

ASMS News 10 June 2020 ASMS Media Release

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists says rundown hospital buildings, cramped working space and failing IT systems are part of the everyday working conditions for hospital staff and the result of long-term neglect. The government has released a stocktake of the country’s hospital infrastructure – The Current State of Assessment of DHB assets – which paints a dire picture of DHB facilities. ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says such a comprehensive stocktake was long overdue and the findings will …

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