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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb 05

BMC Health Serv Res



‘Grey nomad’ travellers’ use of remote health services in Australia: a qualitative enquiry of hospital managers’ perspectives.


Yates M, Perry L, Onyx J, Levett-Jones T
BMC Health Serv Res. 2022 Feb 05; 22(1):151.
PMID: 35123475.


For more than the last two decades, older Australians travelling domestically in self-sufficient accommodation and recreational vehicles for extended periods of time have been referred to as 'Grey Nomads'. By 2021 more than 750,000 such recreational vehicles were registered in Australia. Tourism data for the year to September 2017 show 11.8 million domestic camping and caravanning trips in Australia, 29% of which were people aged 55 and over. As the 'baby boomer' generation increasingly comes to retirement, the size of this travelling population is growing. This term applies to the spike in birth rates after World War II from 1946-1964. This growing group of domestic travellers are potential healthcare consumers in remote areas but relatively little is known about their travel, healthcare needs or care seeking practices. Grey nomads have been described as reflective of the age-comparable sector of the Australian population in that many live with chronic illness. Early concerns were raised that they may "burden" already stretched rural and remote healthcare services but relatively little is known about the impact of these travellers.