Researchers bust socio-economic myth in patient care in Western Sydney Local Health District

Study lead author Daniel McIntyre from Westmead Hospital in the Westmead Health Precinct

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) researchers at Westmead Hospital in the Westmead Applied Research Centre have found time spent within outpatient care in WSLHD is consistent regardless of socio-economic status.

The new analysis, which included more than 20,000 patients presenting for outpatient cardiovascular services across WSLHD from 2014 to 2020, determined that there was no difference in time spent in clinics according to age, gender, socio-economic status, country of birth, or language spoken at home.

Daniel McIntyre, PhD candidate at Westmead Hospital in the Westmead Applied Research Centre and lead author of the study said, “More disadvantaged patients spent less time in the clinic than advantaged patients, though there was no difference after models were adjusted for other factors including the clinic being analysed, referral source, and appointment type”.

The study also found clinic times were consistent over the study period, despite an increase in cardiology services provided by WSLHD.

Clinics are consultant-led and staffed by junior doctors, training cardiologists, and nursing staff.

Patients are referred by general practitioners, emergency departments, or other doctors and generally do not pay to access these clinics.

WSLHD is comprised of five hospitals, seven community health centres, and serves 946, 000 residents in the western suburbs of Sydney.

The population is diverse with 46.8 per cent of residents born overseas and 50.3 per cent speaking a language other than English.

WSLHD also houses the largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Australia with approximately 13, 000 persons district wide.

“We are very pleased to see WSLHD patients receive equal care regardless of their socio-economic background,” said Daniel.

Published study:

Impact of Socio-demographic Characteristics on Time in Outpatient Cardiology Clinics: A Retrospective Analysis – Daniel McIntyre, Simone Marschner, Aravinda Thiagalingam, David Pryce, Clara K. Chow, 2023 (

About Western Sydney Local Health District, Westmead Applied Research Centre and University of Sydney:

The Westmead Applied Research Centre (WARC) was established by the University of Sydney in collaboration with the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD). Its main goal to conduct clinical and translational research to address the causes of chronic disease, particularly the specific needs and circumstances of patients and consumers in western Sydney.