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

NZMA declares climate change a health emergency

Other News 25 September 2019 Media release - NZMA

The New Zealand Medical Association declares climate change a serious and leading threat to health and health equity, both in New Zealand and worldwide. NZMA has joined health organisations worldwide, including sister organisations the Australian Medical Association, American Medical Association and British Medical Association in recognising climate change as a health emergency. At its September meeting in Wellington the NZMA Board declared that climate change is already having severe health consequences on vulnerable populations around the world, including in our …

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Wellington Regional Hospital among ‘many’ hospitals ‘too small for population’

Other News 23 September 2019 Katarina Williams - Stuff

Wellington Regional Hospital is one of “many hospitals” which are too small for the population they service, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) says. In response, Capital & Coast District Health Board (CCDHB) has recognised it is “going to need more hospital beds to meet demand” as the region’s population exceeds half a million, according to the latest Census data released on Monday. A Stuff story published on Friday revealed motels were being frequently used by the DHB to accommodate some surgical patients. Read more …

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Use of motels demonstrates perils of short-termism

ASMS News 23 September 2019 Media Release - ASMS

News that Wellington Hospital is using motels to deal with patient over-flow is a consequence of the short-termism that characterises new hospital builds in New Zealand, says Angela Belich, Acting Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). Ms Belich was commenting on a story in the Dominion Post on Friday that details the practice ( “Wellington Hospital is one of many hospitals that are too small for the population they serve. This is due to …

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New Executive Director appointed

ASMS News 20 September 2019 Media Release - ASMS

Sarah Dalton has been appointed Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS), effective 1 January 2020. At present Ms Dalton works as an Industrial Officer at ASMS, serving the Northland, Waitemata, and Auckland DHBs. Ian Powell signalled last year he will leave ASMS at the end of 2019. He has led the union since its formation in 1989. ASMS President Professor Murray Barclay says Mr Powell’s departure is the most significant change in the union’s history. “We …

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Cost of fixing DHB payroll breaches revealed

Other News 20 September 2019 Phil Pennington - Radio New Zealand

Several district health boards have come up with multi-million-dollar estimates of what it will cost to fix years of payroll breaches. But the true picture is only expected to emerge from this point on, as a nationally agreed way of auditing the DHBs begins. Northland DHB is first up, with the board and unions now working together using the national guidelines – that took three years to agree on – to arrive at a firm figure of who is owed …

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Canterbury District Health Board reviewing services to claw back large deficit

Other News 20 September 2019 Oliver Lewis - Stuff

The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) has confirmed it is reviewing services as it faces a forecast $180 million deficit. Documents prepared for a board meeting on Thursday show the CDHB was forecasting the deficit for the 2019-20 year, a substantial increase on the $109m overspend it posted in 2018-19, by far the largest in the country. The $180m figure included anticipated taskforce savings, according to documents prepared for the meeting. Read more here:

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Motels frequently used as Wellington Hospital deals with high patient demand

Other News 20 September 2019 Katarina Williams - Stuff

Motels are being used frequently to house out-of-town surgical patients, as dozens have their operations rescheduled because of a lack of intensive care beds. The stance on motel use was at loggerheads with the view of Health Minister David Clark who believed this form of temporary patient accommodation did “not appear to be widespread”. Details about Capital & Coast District Health Board’s (CCDHB) motel use have surfaced, as hospital occupancy rates in the 12 months to July reached 90 per cent and above for almost three quarters …

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Southern DHB’s only neurosurgeon says lives at risk

Other News 18 September 2019 Indira Stewart - Radio New Zealand

The only neurosurgeon working for the Southern District Health board area says patients are at risk because there aren’t enough neurosurgeons and he’s calling on the government to help. Dr Ahmad Taha says the lack of qualified physicians available to support him means he has to be on call to perform lifesaving surgery anytime day or night. “It’s a big workload but there’s no other choice. Either I will do my job or people will lose lives or they’ll lose …

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Health Minister: Charity hospital in Southland is not a long-term solution

Other News 18 September 2019 Damian Rowe - Stuff

A charity hospital in Southland may not have been needed if the Southern DHB followed recommendations in a damning external audit of colonoscopy services and bowel cancer in the south. Professor Philip Bagshaw is working with Blair and Melissa Vining who hope to establish the charity hospital to ensure other Southlanders get timely access to, initially, bowel cancer diagnosis, to improve their chances of survival. The Southern DHB has the lowest rate of colonoscopy diagnoses and there is no indication from the DHB that anything is …

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The reluctant leader: He kaihautū, he whakatōngā

Other News 16 September 2019 Alan Perrott - New Zealand Doctor

Curtis Walker talks to Alan Perrott about leadership, identifying as Māori and why flagpoles sometimes must come down Kei te korero a Curtis Walker ki a Alan Perrott mō te kaihautūtanga, mō te tuakiri Māori, ā, mō tika ki tōna wā o te tope o te pouhaki Subtle and gentle “Subtle and gentle, but in an immovable kind of way.” The Medical Council of New Zealand chair is describing his deceased yet ever-present koro, Ranginui Walker. Like his grandfather – an activist, university professor, …

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