Announced by media release yesterday was the 5th National Report of the Australian and New Zealand Audits of Surgical Mortality. The full report, covering the 2013 calendar year, is available online.

The Chairman’s report by Professor Guy Maddern notes that in future years, the Rioyal Australasian College of Surgeons will not be providing continuing professional development signoff unless a surgeon has participated in the audit, where required and possible. Surgeon participation already stands at 93%.

Recommendations arising from the report included ongoing focus on handover, delays in transfer and procedure related sepsis.

The Chairman was quoted in the media as saying that some surgeons, particularly in general surgery, orthopaedics, and, to a lesser extent, neurosurgery, still needed to work on deciding not to proceed with surgeries where the risks outweighed the benefits.