Rapid access clinics for patients with chest pain: will they work in Australia?

Clara K Chow and Adam Timmis
Med J Aust 2019; 210 (7): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50119
Published online: 15 April 2019

Rapid access cardiology services may safely divert people with non‐cardiac chest pain from being admitted to hospital

Chest pain is an exceedingly common cause of presentations to emergency departments, and a large and increasing number of people with suspected cardiac chest pain are being admitted to Australian hospitals (Box). Between 1993–94 and 2007–08, the age‐standardised rate of hospitalisation with acute myocardial infarction increased by 80% and that of unstable angina by 33%, but hospitalisations for chest pain increased by more than 200%.1 Only about one in ten people who present to Australian hospitals with suspected cardiac chest pain receive a final diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome, and no more than 2% of patients with low to intermediate risk of cardiovascular disease are diagnosed with an acute coronary syndrome.2 This raises the question of whether such patients need to be admitted to hospital at all.

  • Clara K Chow1,2
  • Adam Timmis3

  • 1 Westmead Applied Research Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 Westmead Hospital, Sydney, NSW
  • 3 The William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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