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Health services are suggested to contribute to remote communities in the ways that extend beyond healthcare delivery. This international multiple case-study research provides qualitative evidence of the social, economic and human contributions (the ‘added-value’) that may be lost should remote communities lose in-situ health provision. We present a typology of added-value contributions that differentiates institutional aspects (residing in buildings, or embodied in the specific status, capabilities and skills of health professionals) and individual aspects (attributable to health professionals’ unique personalities and choices). This typology has relevance for communities, policymakers and managers when considering the impacts of potential service changes.