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.

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Second junior doctors’ strike begins, thousands walk off job

Other News 29 January 2019 Radio New Zealand

Most doctors want to keep the working hours they have – which they have said are safer – but that district health boards want to change that. It is the second 48-hour strike by junior doctors. The doctors have voted in favour of a third strike that would take place on 12 and 13 February. Hospitals are asking patients to call their GPs first if it is not an emergency during the strike. Hawke’s Bay District Health Board said the strike …

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Study: Is water causing cancer?

Other News 29 January 2019 Mike Joy, Michael Baker - NZ Herald

Last year, a Danish study reported a link between nitrate in drinking water and the risk of developing colorectal (bowel) cancer. This finding could have important implications for Kiwis. New Zealand has one of the highest bowel cancer rates in the world. Recent data showed also that drinking water supplies in some parts of New Zealand had nitrate levels more than three times higher than the threshold level for colorectal cancer risk identified in the Danish study. This study and …

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WMA condemns use of lethal force against Sudanese physicians and protesters

Other News 28 January 2019 Media Release - World Medical Association

The World Medical Association has condemned in the strongest terms the use of violence, particularly lethal force, against protesters and physicians during recent demonstrations in Sudan. The peaceful demonstrations have been in protest at the collapse of the public sector, with physicians denouncing the breakdown of the health system and their working conditions. Physicians have been on strike several times about their inability to perform their duties of saving lives and providing adequate care to their patients. WMA President Dr. …

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Opioid-related deaths associated with pharmaceutical marketing of opioid products

Other News 28 January 2019 Krista Rossi - MD Mag

Almost 400,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2017, and 47,600 deaths occurred in 2017 (67.8% of deaths related to drug overdoses for that year), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among all opioid-related deaths, approximately 40% were due to involvement with prescription opioids—the first opioids individuals with opioid use disorder usually encounter. With such a large percentage of addicted individuals finding initial opioid access through prescriptions, a team of investigators sought to evaluate the association …

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Hospital midwives ready to strike for second time

Other News 28 January 2019 Cate Broughton - Stuff

Midwives and hospitals are preparing for a second wave of strikes next month. On Friday the union representing hospital midwives began issuing strike notices to District Health Boards (DHBs) for a series of 12-hour strikes over four days from February 11. About 1100 hospital midwives and members of the union, Midwifery Employee Representation and Advisory Services (Meras), took part in rolling two-hour strikes over two weeks from November 22. Meras members were covered by a midwives scale within the New Zealand Nursing Organisation (NZNO) …

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DHBs acting irresponsibly in Resident Medical Officer industrial dispute

Other News 25 January 2019 Media Release - ASMS

By refusing the Medical Council’s offer to facilitate talks in the escalating industrial dispute affecting public hospitals, District Health Boards are putting hardworking hospital staff under increasing pressure and risk creating alarm among patients, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Executive Director Ian Powell says. “As a regulatory body, the Medical Council rarely involves itself in industrial disputes. That its Chair, Andrew Connolly, has offered to help facilitate a resolution is highly significant and underlines the seriousness of the situation.” Mr …

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Taxpayers’ union backed by tobacco giant

Other News 24 January 2019 Sam Sachdeva - Newsroom

A right-wing lobbying group which has railed against cigarette tax increases and plain packaging laws in New Zealand counts a tobacco giant among its corporate funders. The NZ Taxpayers’ Union has not disclosed its financial support from tobacco companies in its reports or press releases, with one public health academic calling on it to be more transparent about its donors. The Guardian identified the relationship between the Taxpayers’ Union and British American Tobacco as part of its series on “the huge damage …

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NZMA’s seven actions to mitigate health and climate change

Other News 24 January 2019 Media Release - NZMA

NZMA recommends the following seven actions to address climate change.  “Seven actions to make change happen.”  As medical professionals we have a responsibility to advocate for strong action to address climate change for health of all New Zealanders and globally” says Dr Kate Baddock Chair of the NZMA. “Our actions broadly align with the New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine (NZCPHM) policy statement and we want urgent, decisive and effective action to mitigate climate change and its consequences.” The New …

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Letter from Mr Andrew Connolly, Chair of the MCNZ to RDA and DHB management

Other News 24 January 2019 Medical Council of New Zealand

The attached letter from Mr Andrew Connolly, Chair of the Medical Council of New Zealand has been sent to the New Zealand Resident Doctors’ Association and the Chief Executive Officers and Chief Medical Officers of all District Health Boards. The Medical Council wants to encourage the parties to find a  cooperative mechanism to prioritise safe staffing and avoid further strike action. The Council is concerned that continued industrial action may ultimately threaten aspects of public health and safety. Read the …

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Health Minister David Clark warns DHBS over financial performance

Other News 23 January 2019 Lucy Bennett - New Zealand Herald

Health Minister David Clark has warned district health boards to tighten their belts or face the prospect of someone else doing it for them if their financial performance doesn’t pick up. A report from the Ministry of Health on the financial performance of the country’s 20 DHBs in the first four months of the 2018/19 financial year showed almost all DHBs were on track for a deficit, Clark said. “That is disappointing, and underlines again the importance of a rigorous …

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