National 4 October 2016
Dear Member,

Welcome to the seventh issue for 2016 of ASMS Direct, our national electronic publication.

You can also keep in touch with the latest news and views on health issues relevant to public hospital specialists via our website, which contains links (at the top of the home page) to our Facebook and LinkedIn pages, as well as our quarterly magazine The Specialist. We’re also on Twitter at

Coming up – Derek Sherwood at the ASMS Annual Conference: new funding model for post-graduate medical vocational training?

A new funding model for post-graduate medical vocational training – that’s the topic being tackled by Dr Derek Sherwood, Chair of the Council of Medical Colleges, at this year’s ASMS Annual Conference. This is a significant issue being considered by Health Workforce New Zealand and strongly advocated by its Chair, Professor Des Gorman. The Colleges are critical participants in this policy debate and the ASMS Conference provides an opportunity to hear first-hand from one of the people leading the discussion.

Speaking of the Annual Conference…

…Please enter the date in your diaries, if you haven’t already: 17-18 November at Te Papa, Wellington. The ASMS Annual Conference will be two days of stimulating presentations and discussions, as well as an opportunity to network with other senior doctors and dentists from around New Zealand.

Along the way you will be updated on the progress of the ASMS-DHB MECA negotiations, hear from the Minister of Health, and catch up with some interesting research on New Zealand’s senior medical workforce.

Every branch is entitled to a set number of delegates – please contact our Membership Support Officer Kathy Eaden at if you are interested in attending.

Writing from the heart – doctors describe their practice of medicine

For the past year the Medicine Stories Project, supported by the ASMS, has been quietly collecting the stories and poems and personal reflections of doctors around the country, and curating them online. Now the leaders of the project think it’s time to give those stories a wider readership.

As ASMS National Secretary Jeff Brown says, doctors have always told stories to each other. The Medicine Stores Project gathers up these stories and shares them with the world. Former ASMS National President David Galler says writing is an opportunity for doctors to express their feelings about some of the profound things encountered in the course of practising medicine.

They are looking for more contributions and are encouraging people to read the stories and insights already posted. Full details are available on the website at

The ASMS media release on the project can be read at

Did you know…about relocation costs?

Did you know that when you are appointed to job in another city you are generally entitled to relocation costs? This provision is described in the MECA as ‘by negotiation’ between you and the employing DHB, although we see the general principle as being that relocation should be cost neutral, so it’s important to engage with them before you move. Also, if the employer offers an amount that seems insufficient you are entitled to negotiate – providing estimates and quotes is usually helpful. Overall we would expect that your new employer would cover travel costs for you and your family, plus the cost of moving your household, along with reasonable settling in costs (eg, rental car and accommodation for a few weeks). Reimbursement of relocation costs requires receipts as well as agreement, so it is important to keep these.

Kind regards

Ian Powell
Executive Director