News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Conjuring Up Doctors No Easy Task

The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists is welcoming the Government’s dedicated $500m health package to fight Covid-19 but warns there aren’t enough doctors to go around.

The measures include strengthening intensive care capacity and setting up Coronavirus clinics throughout the country in preparation for a major outbreak.

ASMS has repeatedly warned of serious staffing shortages in our hospitals with an estimated 24% shortfall of senior doctors nationwide. A number of regions, such as Northland and the West Coast, are also desperately short of GPs.

ASMS Executive Director Sarah Dalton says funding for extra intensive care beds sounds promising as they would be required in the case of a serious Covid-19 outbreak, but the problem would be staffing them.

“There is absolutely no fat in the system in terms of extra staffing and you can’t just conjure up more doctors overnight,” she says.

“The situation will be exacerbated if hospital doctors themselves fall ill or are forced to self-isolate.

“Senior medical professionals are fully committed to caring for people with all disease, but in the case of a major Covid-19 outbreak, we have ongoing concerns about the pressures they and hospital services will be put under, and the ongoing effects of burnout and fatigue”.

Sarah Dalton says it is good to see a decent chunk of funding going towards boosting public health units.

“Our public health services have been undercooked for a long time, in the face of some significant challenges,” she says.

Senior medical staff will be pleased to see extra investment into hospital equipment as there were concerns that supplies, such as masks, were starting to dwindle at some DHBs.

“We know that senior doctors will put the patients first – we need them to be given assurances that their working conditions will be made as safe as possible.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Charlotte Yates' Mansfield Project

Katherine Mansfield's vapid verses are of even less interest than her over-rated short stories, but Yates has risen to the challenge of producing a fascinating compilation album by a variety of musicians to accompany her poetry. More>>

Howard Davis: Dazed & Confused by Beats

Beats is both a coming-of-age tale and a romantic movie about endings, set to a nostalgic backdrop of the disappearing tail of the UK's illegal rave scene. More>>

Howard Davis: And The Oscar Goes To … Parasite

For its deliciously dark wit and genre-bending ingenuity, Bong Joon-ho's latest movie has just won four out of a potential six Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay and Director. Only ten foreign-language films have previously been nominated for Best Picture and none have won before. More>>

Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland