Healthcare Identifiers Framework Project Consultation

Closed 28 Feb 2023

Opened 2 Dec 2022


The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care (the Department) is consulting with stakeholders to identify opportunities to amend the Healthcare Identifiers Framework (the HI Framework) which includes the Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010 (the Act), the Healthcare Identifiers Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) and the key policy settings for the Healthcare Identifiers Service (HI Service), through the Healthcare Identifiers Framework Project (the Project).

The HI Framework enables the safe and secure connection of health information across the Health sector by using unique identifiers for individuals, providers and organisations. These identifiers are managed through the HI Service which, along with the Framework, has been in place since 2010. 

Healthcare Identifiers (HIs) have been used effectively to implement My Health Record (MHR), and more recent digital initiatives such as electronic prescribing. However, adoption of HIs beyond these services has been slow. This is partly due to legislative and operational challenges.

The key objective of the Project is to align the Act and the HI Service with our modern healthcare environment. This will enable the delivery of safe, high-quality healthcare services and meet current and emerging strategic, policy, program, and operational goals. 

The Project aims to rapidly evolve Australia’s ability to connect health information systems. It will do so by ensuring that HIs can and will be used as the common identifiers across healthcare programs and services. This will allow providers to accurately identify a healthcare recipient and send health information securely between health services. In turn, this will:

  • reduce the burden on healthcare recipients, who will no longer need to retell key health information
  • give healthcare providers access to much richer information about their patients at the point of care, improving patient outcomes.

Widespread use of HIs will also increase researchers’ ability to connect and analyse large quantities of de-identified data on health outcomes and usage. The results of this research will guide planning and funding, for the benefit of all Australians.

We are seeking the views of stakeholders on both legislative and non-legislative mechanisms to improve the operation of the HI Service. We will use the views to ensure that any proposed reforms are:

  • pragmatic, considered, and achievable
  • in the best interests of healthcare recipients, healthcare providers and the healthcare system more broadly.

Through public consultation we aim to identify and validate key potential changes to the HI Framework to support broader adoption of Healthcare Identifiers. This will inform a set of recommendations that will inform a Bill to be put to Parliament for consideration by mid-2024.

In responding to this consultation, you can move between sections to determine which parts are most relevant to you. There are 12 sections in total, 4 related to background information and 8 related to key problem statements with questions.

It is highly recommended that the background sections are read in full to provide context to the consultation. These include:

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • The Healthcare Identifiers Framework Project
  • The consultation

Once you have viewed and/or completed a section, you will be directed back to the main contents page to select the next section. Responses to questions will be captured in open text fields. It is recommended responses are kept to a maximum of 500 words per question. It is not mandatory to respond to all questions.

You can save and come back to the consultation at any time to the close date.

If you would like to provide general comments not related to the questions you can respond in the general feedback section.

Related materials have been provided to support participants and can be found at the bottom of this page. These materials include:

  • Glossary and abbreviations
  • Appendices
  • Frequently asked answers and questions

In addition, several information webinars will be run throughout December, January and February and details of the webinars can be found towards the end of this page.

Please note that these webinars will be recorded.

Why your views matter

Have your say, because enabling connected care digitally across health and health related services results in improved patient outcomes. 

Through public consultation we aim to identify and validate key potential changes to the HI Framework to support broader adoption of Healthcare Identifiers. 



What happens next

This public consultation will support us to identify and validate key potential changes to the HI framework to enable the broad adoption of Healthcare Identifiers. This will inform a set of recommendations which will be provided to Parliament for consideration by mid 2024. 

Responses to this consultation may be published at the discretion of the Department and with permission of respondents. Submissions made after the closing date of 28 February 2022 will not be considered.


  • Anyone from any background


  • Hospitals
  • e-Health
  • Health technology
  • Medicare
  • Legislation
  • Health insurance
  • Rural health services
  • Regulatory policy
  • Women's health
  • Children's health
  • Home Care
  • Aged Care
  • Residential Aged Care
  • Short-Term Restorative Care
  • Strategic Policy
  • Policy Development