Editorial: Navigating low-value care in regional, rural and remote Australia

Rae Thomas*, Vinay Gangathimmaiah, Marlow Coates, Michelle Guppy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialResearchpeer-review


Occasions of low-value care (LVC) are those that confer little or no benefit to the patient or where harm (including lost treatment opportunity and financial cost) exceeds likely benefit.1 While it is easy to conceptualise health care as either low or high value, the reality is that ‘value’ is conferred on a continuum and within a context. Some health care activities are widely acknowledged as low value (e.g., cranial CT in patients without meeting clinical decision criteria2 and MRIs for low back pain3). However, much health care is conducted in the ‘grey zone’4, 5 where the ‘value’ of health care is context dependent.

In regional, rural and remote Australia, the provision of health care is characterised by challenges distinct from our urban counterparts. Limited access to services, high rates of multimorbidity, and a maldistributed and inconstant workforce are some of the contextual factors in our ‘grey zone’.

From the perspectives of regional (Townsville), rural (New England) and remote (Thursday Island) health services, we describe how the contexts of our clinical environments guide our clinical decisions and challenge notions of what is, and what is not, LVC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-215
Number of pages3
JournalThe Australian journal of rural health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Editorial: Navigating low-value care in regional, rural and remote Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this