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

Shortage of paediatric surgeons

ASMS News 26 June 2015 ASMS media release

“Paediatric surgeons are struggling to keep up with the level of need in New Zealand’s communities, and are working short-handed,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS).   Paediatric surgeons Spencer Beasley and Brendon Bowkett say in the latest ASMS magazine, The Specialist, that it’s a continual uphill struggle to train and retain enough paediatric surgeons in this country.   The full media release is available here.  

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ASMS urges Government to better support, not punish Canterbury DHB post-quakes

ASMS News 25 June 2015 Ian Powell, ASMS Executive Director

“Canterbury District Health Board has an enormous amount of work on its plate due to the prolonged impact of the devastation of the earthquakes and not enough money to do it – but it also has some of the best DHB leadership in the country,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). He was responding to media reports of government concern about the financial performance of the Canterbury DHB, and speculation that some members …

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ASMS support for research into unmet health need

ASMS News 25 June 2015 ASMS media release

The union for senior doctors and dentists in New Zealand’s public hospitals is throwing its weight behind a research project to measure the true extent of unmet adult health need in this country.  The National Executive of the ASMS has agreed to contribute $10,000 toward the project’s costs.  The full ASMS media release can be read here.

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TPPA document release shows Pharmac will be undermined

ASMS News 11 June 2015

“The Government has serious questions to answer about how it plans to protect the country’s drugs-buying agency, Pharmac, following the release of a significant Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) document,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “This document shows that, contrary to the Government’s assurances to date, Pharmac will be left vulnerable and exposed under the TPPA, with pharmaceutical companies able to interfere in their processes to a level not experienced here before.  …

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HDC appointment commended

ASMS News 5 June 2015 Ian Powell, ASMS Executive Director

“The ASMS welcomes the reappointment of Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill for a second term,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). Health Minister Jonathan Coleman announced Mr Hill’s reappointment yesterday, thanking him for his ongoing commitment to the role. Mr Powell says Anthony Hill has taken a considered, thoughtful approach to the position and his reappointment is to be commended. “It’s a very important role for promoting patients’ rights to a safe, …

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Unintended consequences of meeting health targets

ASMS News 27 May 2015

The Government’s health targets had unintended consequences for one senior doctor at a large DHB recently.  Doing what was right clinically, she took a few extra minutes to reassure an anxious young patient she was preparing for surgery and to correct another surgical patient’s erroneous information about what was going to happen.  Satisfied that proper attention had been given to the patients they were about to operate on, the theatre team then worked quickly and efficiently to complete their list.  …

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Budget 2015: Government fails to invest in the health workforce

ASMS News 26 May 2015 ASMS Media Release

“The Government has failed, yet again, to use its Budget to invest in the health workforce which is the prime source of maintaining and improving the quality of patient care,” says ASMS Executive Director Ian Powell, responding to the Government’s Vote Health Budget announcements today.  “This leaves hospital specialists to wonder what services might be compromised or even have to go.”  The full ASMS media release can be read here. Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman’s media release about the …

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Rural hospitals’ services vulnerable

ASMS News 26 May 2015 ASMS media release

“The Southern District Health Board’s efforts to tighten its financial belt are clearly going to have very serious consequences for rural hospitals,” says ASMS Executive Director Ian Powell. He was responding to a media release from Waitaki District Health Services Limited which says the Southern DHB’s plans to reduce Oamaru Hospital’s funding by 5% for 2015/16 will mean a downgrading of services and the whole rural hospital system.  The full ASMS media release can be read here.

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Government figures mask true level of medical workforce need

ASMS News 18 May 2015

“The Government’s latest figures on the state of the medical workforce overlook one essential fact – New Zealand needs an extra 100 senior doctors every year on top of the modest increases we’re seeing in the health workforce,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS). “While increases of any size in the medical workforce are a step in the right direction, it’s incorrect for the Government to trumpet its latest workforce findings as a …

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Bleak winter ahead for Dunstan Hospital services

ASMS News 13 May 2015 ASMS media release

“Winter is coming for Dunstan Hospital in central Otago as it faces a $1 million budget shortfall, closure of hospital beds, and staff and service reductions,” says Ian Powell, ASMS Executive Director.  “This is a direct consequence of the Southern District Health Board’s short-sighted decision to reduce the hospital’s funding by 5% for the 2015-16 year, and is an unbelievable blow for a rural hospital like Dunstan.”  The full ASMS media release is available here. Media reports on Dunstan …

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