Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Special message to ASMS members

Following the shock and disbelief of the tragedy in Christchurch on Friday, the enormity of the incident is now beginning to sink in as the identities of the dead and seriously injured become known. To our Muslim members and to all who have relatives and friends in Christchurch, we offer our condolences, love and support at this time of such terrible grief.

We are very sad to pass on that one of our members, Amjad Hamid, died in Friday’s tragedy.

The Stuff website reports that Dr Hamid, 57, was an SMO and rural hospital consultant at Hawera Hospital. Prior to that he was a senior doctor with a special interest in cardiology, and worked for Canterbury DHB and as a locum at other DHBs around the country. He lived in Christchurch with his wife and family but travelled to Hawera for work. He was well-liked for his kindness, compassion and sense of humour. He was a hard-working doctor, deeply committed to caring for his patients, and a thoughtful team member who was supportive of all staff. When he returned to Hawera Hospital he often brought fresh baklava from a bakery in Christchurch for everyone.

Dr Hamid has been a valued member of the ASMS and our condolences go out to his family and colleagues.

We want to acknowledge the fantastic job done under extreme pressure by SMOs and others on the front line and in support services to give the seriously injured the best possible chance of survival and recovery. We thank them for all they have done. And there is much more still to be done.

Once again, the resilience and strength of the people of Christchurch is being tested, having been pushed to the limit and beyond following the earthquake. The mental health of Christchurch public is already at a very low point and many mental health staff are already exhausted, so supporting the community now will be an extra major challenge.

Support available

We understand that a number of members may be struggling or need support following this terrible event.

You might wish to check your own College’s advice on these matters but in the first instance members are reminded of access to EAP counselling or indeed to the MPS confidential counselling service that can provide up to six sessions. We very much encourage anyone who is struggling to make use of these services.

Please don’t hesitate to contact your ASMS industrial officer if you find yourself struggling with additional workload or you are having any difficulty arranging cover, or need any other assistance from ASMS.

Offers to help

There have also been many messages of support from DHBs and ASMS members around New Zealand, including offers to help Canterbury DHB staff in whatever way is possible and appropriate. We understand from SMOs in Christchurch, however, that teams are managing the situation as well as possible at present, working shifts so that staff get breaks and delaying scheduled elective workload. The message from the CDHB SMOs is that they are incredibly grateful for all the support offered. They will consider asking for help if needed at a later date if fatigue and emotional exhaustion become significant.

Ministry of Health Director-General Ashley Bloomfield has asked us to let members know that any requests for clinical or other support will be coordinated through the DHB emergency management infrastructure. Please let your local manager or clinical director know if you are interested in assisting if needed.

Messages of support

ASMS has received many messages of support from around the world and it is clear from the expressions of compassion that this event has had a profound effect well beyond our shores.

Health Minister David Clark wished to pass on his acknowledgement of the “exceptional work” being undertaken by senior doctors in extreme circumstances.

Professor Martin McKee from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine sent us the following message:

“The world was shocked by what happened in Christchurch, but especially those of us who have been welcomed as visitors to New Zealand. I recall so well going with ASMS colleagues to Christchurch and experiencing such a strong sense of community after the earthquake. As someone brought up in Belfast and who worked in Bosnia, I have seen the effects of hatred at first hand. My thoughts are with everyone affected by this atrocity, including the health professionals caught up in the events or helping the survivors.”

Professor Geoff Dobb, President of the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation (ASMOF), who attended last year’s ASMS Annual Conference, sent this message:

“I write on behalf of ASMOF and our members to offer our condolences to the families of the New Zealanders killed in the dreadful events in Christchurch and support to our colleagues caring for the injured. The scale and nature of the attack on innocent people during a religious service have clearly shocked us on both sides of the Tasman. Our thoughts are with your ASMS members at this time and we send our best wishes to all, and especially those involved in the ongoing care of the victims.”

Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sam Huggard expressed his gratitude for the work of all public service personnel following the Christchurch tragedy.

Injustice, intolerance and racism has no place in our communities nor anywhere in the world. I am so deeply sorry for our friends in the Muslim community in Christchurch for the devastation that this horrific act of violence and terror has caused,” he wrote in an email to unions.

The British Medical Association issued a media release condemning the attack and also contacted ASMS directly. The full statement is available at https://www.bma.org.uk/news/media-centre/press-releases/2019/march/bma-responds-to-mosque-attack-in-new-zealand.

Please take care in the coming days and weeks, and draw on support if you need it. Our thoughts are with you all.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Apparent Inability To Read The Public Mood

The basic skill that a successful politician needs is the ability to “read the room” and gauge the public mood. If National Party leader Judith Collins ever possessed that ability, it seems to have deserted her of late. Surely, very, very few of the public would agree with Collins and her deputy Gerry Brownlee when they claim :
(a)that the threat from Covid-19 means that the election due on September 19 must be postponed until November, or sometime next year
(b) that in the middle of the current outbreak the government is obliged to hand over all the relevant decision- making to the top officials in the public service... More>>


Government: Plan To Tackle Problem Plastics

Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem plastics to reduce waste and protect the environment announced Associate Minister for the Environment ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Lockdowns, Leadership And Lebanon

As Melbourne has shown, the webs of urban life overlap so extensively that community transmission can be very hard to trace, let alone control. Each of the family members in the South Auckland family at the centre of the current outbreak will have had ... More>>


National: Emma Mellow As Auckland Central Candidate

Tonight the National Party has selected Emma Mellow to stand in the Auckland Central electorate for the 2020 General Election. Emma Mellow replaces retiring MP Nikki Kaye who first won the seat from Labour in 2008. Emma leads a team of communications ... More>>


Travel: Update On New Zealand And The Cook Islands Bubble

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. More>>

Election 2020: Labour Launch

E ngā mana e ngā reo Ngāti whātua ngā mana whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, e tika te kōrero Ehara taku toa he toa (taki tahi) he toa (taki tini) No rēira tātou e huihui mai nei, ka ‘Hoake tonu tātou’ Thank you for that welcome. And thank ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Political Twins, And On Labour Extending Its Wage Subsidy Scheme

A quick quiz for the weekend. Which political party currently represented in Parliament issued a press release yesterday that contained these stirring passages: “[We have] long supported a free trade and free movement area between Canada, Australia, New ... More>>


Democracy 2.0: NextElection Partners With Scoop For Exciting Democracy Tech

Joint Press Release: NextElection, Scoop.co.nz, ScoopCitizen NextElection , a technology platform empowering democracy and Government accountability, and Scoop Independent News have partnered to strengthen citizen participation in the 2020 New Zealand General ... More>>


Covid-19: Poll On Management Approval

New Zealanders’ overall trust in the Ministry of Health and Government to manage the COVID-19 pandemic is at 82%, down from 91% during April. Overall distrust that the Ministry and Government will manage it in ways which best protect themselves More>>

Election 2020: National Releases 2020 Party List

National’s 2020 Party List is a strong mix of experience coming up through our Caucus, and new and exciting talent joining our team from communities across New Zealand, Party President Peter Goodfellow says. “The National Party is incredibly ... More>>

Horizon Research Limited: How Judith Collins Stopped The Bleeding

Horizon Research includes questions on voting from time to time in its surveys – for both forthcoming referenda and general elections. More>>

Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>






InfoPages News Channels