Using the mynhs website, patients can search for information, including mortality rates for individual specialists.
But some surgeons say the data may be “crude and misleading”.
Other critics say that vital data has not been included in the information released reported BBC.
The MyNHS tool – which has been officially launched – is designed to allow patients and professionals to compare the performance of different NHS services, including consultants.
Patients will be able to search for and compare data on certain surgeons, as well as statistics on local hospital performance, mental health care, social care and public health.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Transparency is about patient outcomes, not process targets reported BBC.
“It uses the power of a learning culture and of peer review, not blame.”
NHS England’s national medical director Sir Bruce Keogh told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that transparency will focus surgeon’s minds.
“Surgeons all feel a personal responsibility for their patients – they take it very seriously, they have their patients’ best interests at heart,” he said.
“[But] previously the risk in a high risk operation has only been taken by the patient. Now it’s shared between the patient and the surgeon and that really focuses the mind about the appropriateness of surgery for that particular individual, and well functioning surgery groups will share between them that risk and ensure that the most appropriate surgeon does the operation.”
One of the drivers towards greater openness and transparency in the NHS was the Francis inquiry, which looked into failings at Stafford hospital. The new website is being launched exactly a year on from the government’s response to the inquiry.
People can look up consultants by name, by hospital, and by location, a Health Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) spokesman said.
A large quantity of the data is already available online, but MyNHS is designed to be more patient-friendly, and includes more details, he said.
For example, there is already information available for adult cardiac surgery for NHS England.
MyNHS includes this data, but there is will also be added details – such as procedure type.