14 Apr 2015

Doctor league tables 'need context'

11:02 am on 14 April 2015

League tables of individual doctors' performance could lead to patients feeling even more anxious about surgeries, according to the Medical Council.

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Photo: 123RF

The Council wants a debate about how much information should be made public, as District Health Boards are under increasing pressure to publish surgical league tables.

Council chairman Andrew Connolly said people were assigned surgeons, and providing data without context about the type of work a surgeon does, could make people more nervous rather than more confident.

"They could potentially be made anxious by simply a table of outcomes from the surgeon they're about to see, without knowing that in fact that surgeon for instance might specialise in very high risk cases."

Mr Connolly said raw data did not reveal whether a surgeon was good or bad at their job.

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