A report into the mortality rates of New Zealanders during and after surgery has found "disparities" among those from the country's deprived areas.
Source: 1 NEWS
The Perioperative Mortality Review Committee has produced its sixth report, looking at deaths related to surgery and anaesthesia that occur within 30 days of an operation.
It advises the Health Quality & Safety Commission on how to reduce these deaths and makes recommendations to make surgery safer for patients.
The committee's latest report, released on Friday, contains a section on people living in lower socio-economic areas of New Zealand having a higher rate of mortality during or after surgery from 2009 to 2013 (1647 patients out of 259,609, or 0.64 per cent) against those living in more wealthy parts of the country (0.39 per cent).
The poorest patients were also almost twice as likely as the other group to have emergency surgery, and also had 14 per cent more elective (waiting list) operations.
"This disparity in mortality rates and number of emergency admissions is glaring and we need to look into why it exists, as every person in New Zealand has the right to expect the same standard of health care regardless of their socio-economic situation," said committee chairman Dr Leona Wilson
Nationally, 1.17 million people were admitted to hospital for surgery and there were 6085 deaths (0.54 per cent) from 2009 to 2013
The committee is calling for research into socio-economic and ethnic inequities during and after hospital admissions to understand why disparities exist, along with investigating programmes to increase access to both primary care and medical and surgical specialists.
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