NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — According to  a new report, the New York City Department of Health has been underreporting the number of deaths caused by accidents and preventable medical complications.

As WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported, the health department’s bureau of vital statistics reported only a fraction of deaths caused by accidents or preventable medical complications compared to the medical examiner’s office.

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Using the health department’s statistics, they would rank as the 10th leading cause of death in the city if they were considered to be a disease — surpassing homicides and suicides in some years.

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New York University’s Arthur Caplan examined the report for the New York Post and said the health department’s data lets the city know there is a major problem that needs to be addressed.

“If there is no sense of a pressing problem, there is no urgency to solve it,” he added.

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