ASMS

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

Whanganui and Tairawhiti DHBs carry significant specialist shortfalls

ASMS News 23 October 2019 Media Release - ASMS

Staffing surveys carried out by the senior doctors’ union estimate specialist numbers at two smaller North Island DHBs are well down on what’s needed to provide quality and timely treatment for patients. The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists has been looking at senior doctor staffing levels across DHBs since 2016 by surveying clinical leaders in hospital departments. At Tairawhiti DHB the shortfall of specialists is estimated at around 25% or eleven full-time positions, while at Whanganui DHB that figure is …

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DHBs must act on patient safety risks

ASMS News 23 October 2019 Media Release - ASMS

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) says the inadequate treatment of urology patients in Southern District Health Board is distressing and should serve as a broad reminder to DHB management to listen when specialists raise concerns. The DHB has been forced to apologise to four urology patients after a scathing report from the Health and Disability Commissioner:  https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/health/urology-complaint-led-verbal-counter-assault It says many patients waited with no treatment and at least two patients believe their cancers have spread as a …

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BMA apologises to female doctors over sexism

Other News 21 October 2019 Denis Campbell - The Guardian

The British Medical Association has apologised to female doctors who have experienced sexism and sexual harassment after an independent inquiry described it as an “old boys’ club” that undervalued women. The trade union, which represents about 70% of Britain’s 240,000 doctors, has promised sweeping reforms of its processes and culture in response to the inquiry’s findings. Daphne Romney QC found that some female medics and BMA personnel “feel they are undervalued, ignored and patronised because they …

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40,000 more New Zealanders to begin screening for bowel cancer

Other News 21 October 2019 Radio New Zealand - Morning Report

About 40 thousand more New Zealanders are set to begin receiving potentially life-saving screening for bowel cancer. Twelve thousand of them live in the Whanganui District Health Board area, which will join the national screening programme on Tuesday. Neighbouring MidCentral DHB is likely to follow next month — setting a halfway milestone for a carefully managed programme that some worry is already stretched. Health Correspondent Karen Brown reports. Listen here.

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Gaping shortage of hospital specialists in Northland

ASMS News 17 October 2019 Media Release - ASMS

A staffing survey carried out by the senior doctors’ union, the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists, has found a gaping shortfall of hospital specialists at the Northland DHB. ASMS has been looking at senior doctor staffing levels across DHBs since 2016 by surveying clinical leaders in hospital departments. The aim is to assess how many full-time specialist positions are needed to provide quality and timely treatment for patients. The Northland survey found an estimated staffing shortage of 36%. “This was …

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How the vaping industry is using a defensive tactic pioneered decades ago by big tobacco

Other News 16 October 2019 Sarah Milov - Time

Each week brings a new story of some calamity brought by vaping. In late July, a Connecticut man filed suit against e-cigarette giant Juul Labs after suffering a massive stroke. The suit alleges that he became addicted while he was still a high schooler, even though the company says it is specifically taking action to prevent young people from trying the product. In August, an Illinois patient died after vaping, succumbing to a mysterious …

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How is the NHS performing? July 2019 quarterly monitoring report

Other News 15 October 2019 Deborah Ward, Siva Anandaciva - The Kings Fund

Since April 2011, The King’s Fund has published a quarterly monitoring report (QMR) to track, analyse and comment on the issues the health and care system is facing. This is the 28th QMR, which takes stock of what has happened over the past few months with NHS financial and operational performance in England. These are strange days when it comes to health and care policy. Compared to the recent past, it is a time of relative plenty and certainty. A 

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Health practitioners to take charge following DHB election

Other News 15 October 2019 Fiona Cassie - New Zealand Doctor

The voters of South Canterbury like to put their health practitioners in charge. Following the elections which finished on Saturday, all seven elected positions on the region’s DHB will be filled by current or retired health practitioners. Four additional people can be appointed by the Minister of Health to each board. Among the country’s 19 DHBs to hold elections – Waikato has a commissioner and did not hold one – a number of health practitioners have been voted in. But …

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Almost half of CCDHB’s shifts insufficiently staffed as nurses cope with ‘stressful’ job

Other News 15 October 2019 Amber-Leigh Woolf - Stuff

Nursing shifts are dramatically understaffed and vacancies have nearly doubled in the last six months at the Capital and Coast District Health Board (CCDHB).  In September 47 per cent of shifts were below target and there were 15 midwife vacancies and 144 registered nurse vacancies. Patient safety was at risk as tired nurses worked extra hours without breaks, warned the  New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO). Read more here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/116555589/almost-half-of-ccdhbs-shifts-insufficiently-staffed-as-nurses-cope-with-stressful-job

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No more excuses on specialist shortages crisis

ASMS News 15 October 2019 Media Release - ASMS

Patients are increasingly being turned away for treatment and there can be no more excuses from the Government over properly funding district health boards to boost specialist numbers in public hospitals, says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists. Ongoing ASMS staffing surveys in DHBs reveal an estimated shortage of medical specialists of around 24% nationwide. “We will be publishing the results of the most recent completed surveys over the next few weeks starting with Northland …

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