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

Govt pushes vaping as way to quit smoking

Other News 10 June 2019 ASMS

The government has launched a new website urging smokers to stub out their cigarettes for good and pick up vaping instead. Developed by the Ministry of Health, the new website, says that electronic smoking devices are a healthier alternative to smoking, and are a viable way of helping a person quit smoking entirely. The Associate Minister of Health is Jenny Salesa. She talks to Radio New Zealand’s Corin Dann: An expert from the Asthma and …

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Nurses’ union calls for action at Hawke’s Bay Hospital

Other News 10 June 2019 Radio New Zealand

New Zealand Nurses’ Union has written to Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) asking it to address health and safety concerns repeatedly raised by nurses, which it says have been ignored by management. Concerns include understaffing and patient violence and aggression. The union’s professional nursing adviser, Anne Brinkman, said some staff were coming off their shifts in tears. She said many were seeking alternative employment, at a time when recruitment and retention was already a problem for HBDHB. Read more …

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Investigation into Ministry of Health contracts reveals ‘shortcomings’

Other News 10 June 2019 Oliver Lewis - Stuff

A year after he was placed on ‘gardening leave’, details have finally emerged about the investigation that embroiled former Ministry of Health executive Michael Hundleby. Oliver Lewis reports. Michael Hundleby says his reputation has been unjustifiably damaged. The former critical projects director at the ministry was placed on paid leave about June last year after concerns were raised about two contracts the ministry held with project management consultancy Proj-X Solutions. There were also allegations of a conflict of interest. Hundleby was a powerful figure …

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Liverpool NHS trust inquiry launched amid concern over 150 deaths

Other News 10 June 2019 Denis Campbell - The Guardian

Ministers have ordered an inquiry into evidence that an NHS trust failed to properly investigate 150 patient deaths and 17,000 incidents in which patient safety was put at risk. The investigation is the latest in a series of inquiries into the care provided by Liverpool Community Health (LCH) NHS Trust. They all found serious problems including shoddy treatment, bullying and failures of leadership. Stephen Hammond, the health minister, said on Thursday that Dr Bill Kirkup would …

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The business of health care depends on exploiting doctors and nurses

Other News 10 June 2019 The New York Times - Opinion: Danielle Ofri

You are at your daughter’s recital and you get a call that your elderlypatient’s son needs to talk to you urgently. A colleague has a family emergency and the hospital needs you to work a double shift. Your patient’s M.R.I. isn’t covered and the only option is for you to call the insurance company and argue it out. You’re only allotted 15 minutes for a visit, but your patient’s medical needs require 45. These quandaries are standard issue for doctors and nurses. …

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Medical watchdog GMC needs to regain trust of doctors, finds review

Other News 10 June 2019 The Guardian - Sarah Boseley

The General Medical Council must fundamentally reform to regain the trust of the doctors it regulates and end their “toxic fear” of reprisals if they make mistakes, says a hard-hitting report. The independent review report was in response to the uproar from doctors over the treatment of a trainee paediatrician, Hadiza Bawa-Garba, who was convicted by the courts of gross negligence manslaughter and given a suspended sentence. The GMC did all it could to get Bawa-Garba struck off the medical …

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Govt’s $2b for mental health: will it work?

Other News 10 June 2019 Radio New Zealand - Nine to Noon

The centrepiece of last week’s budget was $1.9 billion to help the one in five New Zealanders who experience mental illness or significant mental distress.  New Zealand has persistently high suicide rates – particularly for young people and Maori, and widespread harm from alcohol and drug addiction. Kathryn discusses the budget announcements with a panel of experts: former Mental Health commissioner and consumer advocate Mary O’Hagan, Maria Baker, Chief Executive of the Maori health organisation Te Rau Ora,  Dr Dougal …

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Hospital patients’ safety at risk, doctors warn

Other News 10 June 2019 Radio New Zealand - Morning Report

Fifty senior doctors have told members of Hawke’s Bay District Health Board that chronic staff and bed shortages and delays in elective surgeries are putting patients’ safety at risk. The consultants called an urgent meeting with the board last week to spell out what’s going wrong. The DHB admits there are problems, but insist patient safety is not being compromised. RNZ Hawke’s Bay reporter Anusha Bradley has the story:

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Some 4-year-olds not referred

Other News 8 June 2019 Mike Houlahan - Otago Daily Times

Fewer than 5% of New Zealand children who have before-school health checks record abnormal scores, but not all of them are referred for further assessment, University of Otago research has found. More than 90% of eligible 4-year-olds had free voluntary checks of childhood health and development since 2013. All children with two or more concerns raised by the check should be referred to specialist services, such as speech or language therapists, but an article published today in the New Zealand …

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Bowel screening programme: Ministry hits back at delay claims

Other News 8 June 2019 New Zealand Herald

The Ministry of Health has hit back at claims its roll-out of the free national bowel screening programme is facing delays, saying it is still on track. Earlier the Bowel Cancer Foundation Trust claimed the programme was to be further delayed by three years. Thousands of people would be affected by the delay to the roll-out of the programme, which was due to be in place nationwide by 2021. However, the Ministry of Health has this afternoon said the programme …

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