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Published death rates may distort work of Scottish surgical “heroes”

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7537.324 (Published 09 February 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:324
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. Edinburgh

    Mortality data have been published for every surgeon in Scotland for the first time, leading to concern about how the public might interpret the information.

    The health service in Scotland has been forced to publish the data under freedom of information legislation. Two newspapers had successfully appealed a decision by the Scottish health service to refuse to make the information public (BMJ 2005;331: 1424).

    The information, which was made available on a website earlier this week, relates to around 1000 surgeons. It lists their name, specialty, the type of admission (elective or emergency), and the number of deaths of patients and …

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