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National Health Information Agreement

The National Health Information Agreement (NHIA) is an agreement between the Australian Government and state/territory government health authorities. The Commonwealth of Australia is represented by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC), Department of Health, Department of Human Services (DHS), Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA), National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), National Health Performance Authority (NHPA), National Health Funding Body (NHFB), and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The Agreement was established to coordinate the development, collection and dissemination of health information in Australia, including the development, endorsement and maintenance of national data standards. This includes a commitment to co-operate through the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) agreed governance arrangements for information management.

Specifically, the objectives of the NHIA are to:

  • promote the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of relevant, timely, accurate and reliable health information concerned with the full range of health services and of a range of population parameters (including health status and risks), in accordance with nationally agreed protocols and standards;
  • develop and agree on projects to improve, maintain and share national health information;
  • cooperate in the provision of resources necessary to address national health information development priorities efficiently and effectively;
  • provide the information required to research, monitor and improve health and the delivery of health services;
  • provide the information required to facilitate nationally agreed projects which promote the development and reform of the health care system in accordance with the priorities of AHMAC; 
  • promote the extension of the range of national health information and encourage other groups and individuals in government and non-government sectors to participate by making available information that they hold; and 
  • work towards improving consistency in data definitions, classifications and collections between health, community services and housing assistance.

The current National Health Information Agreement commenced on 1 October 2013.