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

Let’s talk about the art of living and dying well

Other News 6 June 2019 Ranjana Srivastava - The Guardian

It isn’t until my patient dies that I calculate we have known each other for 10 years, the time it took for her recurrent cancer to extinguish her life. I use the word “extinguish” deliberately, for her two young children should have had her for longer. Her devoted husband sends me a peaceful photo of her from the hospice and details of her funeral. I choke – and tell myself that I have a full clinic of patients. Sometime later, …

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First baby born at Lumsden maternal and child hub

Other News 6 June 2019 Rachel Kelly - Stuff

The fact that a second baby has been born in northern Southland while the mother was on her way to a primary birthing unit is proof that the Lumsden Maternity Centre should have stayed open, Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker says. A baby was born at Lumsden’s maternal and child hub, which is equipped for emergency births, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, as the mother headed to a primary birthing unit at either Winton or Invercargill …

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Flu shots restricted as national stocks set to run out

Other News 6 June 2019 New Zealand Doctor

So many doses of influenza vaccine have been given out this year that nationwide stocks are about to run out, just a week into the flu season. In response to the shortage, the Ministry of Health has asked vaccinators to limit their vaccinations to people eligible for publicly funded jabs. A letter sent to health professionals yesterday afternoon, which Pharmacy Todayhas seen, has Ministry of Health senior advisor stakeholder engagement immunisation Bonnie Jones saying the distribution of influenza vaccine in New …

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Christchurch Hospital intensive care unit full five times in three months, with more squeeze to come

Other News 4 June 2019 Oliver Lewis - Stuff

Five times in the past three months there have been more patients than beds in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Christchurch Hospital. While the March 15 terror attack had an impact, most times the ICU was operating beyond its capacity was in April and May, when almost all survivors had left. Stuff understands one of the five occasions was related to admissions linked to synthetic drug use. The issue is reflective of wider capacity constraints at the hospital, where the Canterbury District Health …

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New practitioner to be heart of new primary mental healthcare services

Other News 4 June 2019 Simon Maude - New Zealand Doctor

A pioneering south Auckland co-located general practice and mental health service has served as the launchpad for the Government’s wider mental health ambitions. “This will change lives, I absolutely believe that,” prime minister Jacinda Ardern said at the event today announcing the nationwide roll out of Te Tumu Waiora, which means “to head toward wellness and health”. At Mangere Health Centre in south Auckland, Ms Ardern and health minister David Clark revealed more about how $455 million of Budget 2019 …

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Health budget barely maintains the status quo

ASMS News 30 May 2019 Media release - ASMS

“On initial analysis of the increase for health in today’s Budget, it is virtually enough to maintain the current level of service overall, but district health board funding falls short by around $300 million,” says Lyndon Keene, Director of Policy and Research for the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “More money has been directed at community-based services, including an additional $61 million for National Mental Health Services, which is managed by the Ministry of Health.” “However, the estimated shortfall …

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Dialysis patients in Auckland may be treated in the middle of the night

Other News 30 May 2019 Melanie Earley - Stuff

Life-saving dialysis centres are at “full capacity” as senior doctors warn more patients need in-centre dialysis. The situation was especially dire in South Auckland, where Dr Chris Hood said overnight hours may have to be introduced to handle demand. Dr Hood, Counties Manukau head of renal, told Stuff the number of patients needing the treatment rose each year in the area as patients got sicker and older. Read more here:

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Middlemore Hospital seeing double the flu cases it saw last year

Other News 30 May 2019 Lucy Warhurst - Newshub

Two people have died from flu, including a child, and experts are warning people to get their flu shots before winter hits. Watch the full item here:  

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World Medical Association welcomes decision on burnout

Other News 30 May 2019 Press release - World Medical Association

The World Medical Association has given a warm welcome to the decision by the World Health Assembly to classify work related burnout as a problem that influences health status and to include it in the new version of the international code of diseases  WMA President Dr. Leonid Eidelman said: ‘For too long burnout among physicians has been largely ignored. Emotionally exhausted physicians are a danger to patients and a danger to themselves. The cost in terms of human lives and …

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Government policy makes people ill – and the NHS pays the price

Other News 30 May 2019 Richard Vize - The Guardian

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has been remarkably successful in prising more money for the health service out of the government, but short-term ministerial thinking about the service and its resources has resulted in an unedifying, dysfunctional scramble for cash in austerity Britain. Finally, though, ideas are emerging that could change all that. Trying to meet rising expectations without the money to do it has driven the NHS to run every part of the system hot. As 

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