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Under the knife: Why are Maori more likely to die shortly after surgery?

29 months
Approved budget:
Associate Professor Jason Gurney
Health issue:
Mental health (and sleep disorders)
Proposal type:
Māori Health Project
Lay summary
A national committee that monitors death after surgery have estimated that Maori are 62% more likely to die within 30 days following an elective or waiting list procedure - even after taking age, gender, deprivation and physical status into account. This appalling inequity requires prompt investigation and action. Specifically, there is an urgent need to describe in detail the extent to which inequities exist in postoperative mortality between Maori and non-Maori, and to identify the key system- and patient-level factors that are driving these inequities. Using large population-level datasets and in-depth review of clinical notes, this study aims to a) compare the risk of postoperative mortality between Maori and non-Maori New Zealanders across multiple surgical specialties, b) identify the key drivers of the observed disparities, and c) influence change for those drivers that are modifiable.