Healthcare Identifiers

A number that identifies you for healthcare purposes.

About healthcare identifiers

You’ll already have an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) if you have a Medicare or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) card. Healthcare providers use this to make sure they have your right information.

Your IHI doesn’t:

  • contain health information
  • replace your Medicare or DVA number
  • affect the way you claim medical benefits

Your healthcare identifier history

If you have a Medicare card, you can see who has looked up your healthcare identifier online.

Other ways to look up your healthcare identifier history include:

My Health Record system

Your IHI is used to create your My Health Record. This is a secure online summary of your health information. Healthcare providers can access your My Health Record with your permission.

Read more on the My Health Record website.

Getting an IHI for a different name

For privacy reasons, you might use a different name when you get healthcare. For example if you identify as vulnerable or at risk.

You can get an IHI and a My Health Record for that name. Complete the request a pseudonym Individual Healthcare Identifier record form to do this. We don’t link this new IHI to your real identity.

If you use a different name to get healthcare, you can’t use it to get Medicare benefits or access the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).


How your healthcare provider uses your IHI

Your healthcare provider can only get your IHI from us if they provide your Medicare or DVA details. You can see when someone has accessed your IHI in your healthcare identifier history. We update it every time a healthcare provider accesses it.

There are penalties for misusing an IHI.

How we use your IHI

We collect, use and disclose your IHI in line with the:

  • Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010
  • Healthcare Identifiers Regulations 2010
  • Privacy Act 1988, and
  • Australian Privacy Principles

Read the Regulations on the Federal Register of Legislation website for more information.

Releasing information

We can share your IHI:

  • with healthcare providers
  • with providers who manage health information
  • on your My Health Record
  • with anyone you’ve given permission to have your information

Read about your right to privacy.

Page last updated: 1 August 2018

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