Saving Lives: Amenable mortality in New Zealand, 1996-2006

Published online: 
02 August 2010

Errata 5 March 2012

Table 2 on page 18 has been updated.


The report re-examines the concept of amenable mortality (deaths potentially avoidable through health care) as a health system performance measure.

Trends in amenable mortality over the past decade are analysed for both New Zealand and Australia. Variation in amenable mortality across the District Health Boards is also analysed, for the period 2001-04.

The report finds that amenable mortality fell faster than did non-amenable mortality over the study period (approximately 3% per year versus 1% per year).

While New Zealand's age standardised amenable mortality rate was approximately 25% higher than Australia's throughout the period, this difference disappeared after adjusting for non-amenable mortality. Little variation was found in amenable mortality rates between District Health Boards after adjusting for demographic and socioeconomic factors.

The report concludes that amenable mortality can serve as a useful health system performance measure, provided its limitations are understood.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    02 August 2010
  • Hardcopy date of publication:
    02 August 2010
  • ISBN:
    978-0478-36602-0 (print), 978-0-478-35999-2 (online)
  • HP number:
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2010. Saving Lives: Amenable mortality in New Zealand, 1996 - 2006. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
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