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Surgery and risk in Aotearoa New Zealand 2022 | Te pōkanga me te tūponotanga i Aotearoa

Graphic with the text 'Surgery and risk in Aotearoa New Zealand'Contents:

Introduction

Purpose of the infographic

The infographic shows how safe surgeries are in Aotearoa New Zealand and makes surgical data accessible and available to the New Zealand public. It summarises information about surgeries completed in 2021 and the people who had them. It covers surgery planned in advance (elective) and emergency surgery. Health care professionals can use the infographic to reassure patients about the safety of their upcoming surgery. 

Is it safe to have surgery in Aotearoa New Zealand?

There are benefits and risks to every surgery. Our data confirms that surgery in Aotearoa New Zealand is as safe as surgery in countries like Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Planned (or elective) surgery is more common and safer than emergency surgery. Emergency surgery is often undertaken to save someone’s life.

What should I do if I think I need surgery or if I am concerned about my upcoming surgery?

If you are unwell, talk to your doctor or health care professional early. There are benefits and risks to every surgery; your doctor or health care professional will help you decide if surgery is right for you.

What is inequity?

As a first step in trying to make things fairer, it is important to measure the size of the differences in health and health care. ‘Inequity’ is when health care and outcomes (like deaths after surgery) vary between different groups of people. Health inequities are avoidable and unfair differences in health outcomes, caused by social, economic and environmental conditions. Equity recognises different people with different levels of advantage may require different approaches and resources to get the same outcomes.

Why is there inequity between Māori, Pacific peoples and Pākehā?

The reasons for these inequities are varied and complex. Our health care system works better for our majority European population and does not work as well for Māori and Pacific peoples, resulting in poorer access to GPs and hospitals, and inequitable health outcomes. For more information about inequities in perioperative mortality for Māori, watch the video of Dr Jason Gurney who talks about inequity in surgery (below).


Videos introducing the infographic and explorer

Introducing the surgery and risk in New Zealand infographic and perioperative mortality explorer

Dr Dick Ongley, chair of the Perioperative Mortality Review Committee, introduces two new tools: the surgery and risk in Aotearoa New Zealand infographic and the perioperative mortality explorer.

Download the transcript (31KB, docx)

Dr Jason Gurney talks about the perioperative mortality explorer

Dr Jason Gurney, member of the Perioperative Mortality Review Committee, talks about the new perioperative mortality explorer, released in December 2022.

Download the transcript (30KB, docx)

How nurses can use the new tools from the Perioperative Mortality Review Committee

Stephanie Thomson, member of the Perioperative Mortality Review Committee, talks about how nurses can use the new tools from POMRC: the infographic on surgery and risk in Aotearoa New Zealand and the perioperative mortality explorer.

Download the transcript (29KB, docx)