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

Health Minister fast-tracking cancer plan amid criticism

Other News 1 February 2019 Radio New Zealand - Morning Report

Health Minister David Clark is fast tracking a national action plan for cancer. It comes as a conference on cancer highlights major flaws in the public health system. The conference, held by Otago University and the Cancer Society, is discussing the way New Zealand delivers for cancer patients, and how a national approach could serve the public better. The Health Minister David Clark speaks to Susie Ferguson. Listen here:

Read more »

Waitemata DHB survey highlights severe hospital specialist shortages and stress

ASMS News 1 February 2019 Media Release - ASMS

“A survey of senior doctors at the Waitemata District Health Board highlights the stress felt by heads of department as they try to make do with too few staff”, says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists. “Senior doctors are doing their best to hold departments together as they feel the effects of a long-standing failure to properly invest in workforce training and specialist retention, but the strains are real. “It is significant the results of …

Read more »

Meningococcal disease cases on the rise in NZ

Other News 31 January 2019 Radio New Zealand - Nine to Noon

New figures out today show a steady increase in cases of meningococcal disease in New Zealand since 2014, including those of group W, the strain responsible for the outbreak in Northland. Professor Martin Maiden has been researching the deadly disease for more than 20 years. Listen here:

Read more »

Cancer Society renews calls for a national cancer agency to replace DHB-led system

Other News 31 January 2019 Ruby Macandrew - Stuff

When it comes to treating cancer, where you live matters. To avoid “a postcode lottery” a national approach to cancer care – New Zealand’s biggest killer – is being sought by the Cancer Society. It comes after a pre-election promise in 2017 by then-Labour Leader Andrew Little to establish a cancer agency appears to have been forgotten. Currently, when it comes to treating cancer patients, each of the country’s 20 district health boards (DHBs) operate independently with some better equipped …

Read more »

National cancer response needed as health system failed – terminal patient

Other News 31 January 2019 Radio New Zealand - Karen Brown

A Southland terminal cancer patient, who says he would have died before being treated via the public health system, is being backed by the Cancer Society in calling for a national cancer plan at a conference today. Blair Vining, a father of two and rugby player and coach for Midlands in Southland, was diagnosed with bowel cancer late last October, and will open a conference on cancer at Te Papa in Wellington today. The 38-year-old says his treatment by the …

Read more »

Second Resident Doctor strike ends as determination gains momentum

Other News 31 January 2019 Media Release - New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association

The second Resident Doctor strike has been effective, the NZRDA has announced today. The 48-hour strike began on Tuesday 29 January and ended at 8am this morning. RMOs on picket lines across the country in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay and Dunedin, were joined by other health practitioners and members of the public supporting them. The strike has also seen a significant increase in participation from RMOs joining the cause. “Momentum is clearly building, with the 1 March deadline …

Read more »

Research highlights hospital specialist shortage

ASMS News 31 January 2019 Media Release - ASMS

New Zealand needs at least another 1000 medical specialists to meet our growing health needs. That is the finding of two separate assessments of New Zealand’s specialist workforce needs in a new research paper published by the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). In one assessment, the paper compares New Zealand’s specialist workforce capacity with other countries in respect of access to hospital specialist services and patient outcomes. The second assessment summarises findings from surveys of seven DHBs’ heads of …

Read more »

Southern District Health Board receives $40 million equity injection

Other News 30 January 2019 Stuff

The Government has approved a $40.3-million equity support request from Southern District Health Board commissioner Kathy Grant. In September and November, Grant sent letters to Minister of Health David Clark, requesting equity support for 2018/19. The 2018-19 forecasted deficit for the Southern District Health Board stands at $22.39m. In December, Clark advised the health board in a letter than the equity had been approved. While the purpose of the equity injection was to maintain the DHB’s financial liquidity, Clark said he …

Read more »

NZ researcher: Time to keep ‘Big Food’ out of govt policy

Other News 29 January 2019 Jamie Morton - New Zealand Herald

A global commission led by a prominent Kiwi health researcher wants leaders to take a hard line against “Big Food” in tackling the joint pandemics of obesity, undernutrition and climate change. A just published report from the Lancet Commission on Obesity, co-chaired by the University of Auckland’s Professor Boyd Swinburn, scrutinised the drivers of three big problems. Its key recommendation was to launch a new global treaty on food systems that limited the political influence of powerful …

Read more »

Ministry of Health is exploring the feasibility of a sugar tax but Govt says it won’t implement one this term

Other News 29 January 2019 Jason Walls - New Zealand Herald

The Ministry of Health is looking into a sugar tax but the Government continues to rule one out for the time being. Health Minister David Clark said the ministry chose to prepare a document, which explored the feasibility of a sugar tax, to provide him with a range of potential interventions to help tackle obesity. That document also looked into the feasibility of reducing restaurants portion sizes. Improving long-term health outcomes was a key focus of the document, obtained by …

Read more »