Between 4000 - 5000 patients die each year in New Zealand following surgery. However, a new committee says in many cases the operation itself played no part in the patient's death.
The Perioperative Mortality Review Committee's first report released on Wednesday shows New Zealand's post-operative death rate is on a par with the rest of the world.
The committee was set up in 2010 to advise the Health Quality and Safety Commission on how to reduce the number of deaths following surgery.
Chair of the committee Dr Leona Wilson says the report recommends more mortality data be collected.