If you’re a medical intern

Medical interns who trained in Australia or New Zealand may be able apply online for a Medicare provider number and PBS prescriber number.

You need a Medicare provider number to refer or request services that are eligible for a Medicare benefit. When you apply for your provider number, you can also get a PBS prescriber number. You’ll need this to prescribe PBS medicines.

When you can apply

When you get provisional registration with the Medical Board of Australia, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) will send us your details. We’ll then email you to let you know you can apply for a provider number if you:

  • trained in Australia or New Zealand
  • have medical registration without conditions or notations.

How to apply

You’ll need to create a Provider Digital Access (PRODA) account. You can do this any time, even before you get your provisional registration.

When you have your provisional registration with Ahpra you need to link your PRODA account to Health Professional Online Services (HPOS). HPOS is an online portal for health professionals to do business securely with government services.

Applying for your initial Medicare provider number

Before you apply make sure you have:

  • received an email from us inviting you to complete your provider registration online through HPOS
  • the location details of where you’ll be practising
  • your visa, passport or other citizenship documentation if you’re a permanent or temporary Australian resident or recently became an Australian citizen
  • a compatible browser - you’ll need either Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or Edge.

To apply:

  1. log on to HPOS using your PRODA account.
  2. select My Details.
  3. select My Digital Provider Number Registration.
  4. select Apply.
  5. complete the questions in the application and select submit.

You can save your application and come back to it later. To resume your application:

  1. select My Details.
  2. select My Digital Provider Number Registration.
  3. select Continue.

Applying for a PBS prescriber number

You can apply for a PBS prescriber number as part of your Digital Provider Number registration.

In the Applicant Details section, select yes to the question ‘Do you want a prescriber number for prescribing Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medicines under the National Health Act 1953?’

Proving your residency

If you need to prove your residency, make sure you give us the same information that’s on your current visa. We don’t need details of open visa applications.

If you’re requesting a past start date for your initial provider number, you also need the documents for the visa you were on at that time.

Creating your initial location

Make sure you enter the address you’ll be practising at, not your home address. Your practice location address will be publicly available.

Resubmitting your application or documents

We’ll let you know through your HPOS mailbox if there are any issues with your application. We’ll let you know if you need to update and resubmit it.

If you need to resubmit:

  1. log on to HPOS.
  2. select My Details.
  3. select My Digital Provider Registration.
  4. select continue to open your previous application.
  5. correct the relevant details and upload new versions of any requested documentation.
  6. select submit.

If you can’t see a message in your HPOS mailbox, try logging out and then logging in again.

Find out more about using HPOS Messages.

How to find out if your application is successful

We’ll send you a message in your HPOS mailbox to let you know your Medicare provider number and PBS prescriber number are approved.

To be notified when there’s a new HPOS message, select to get email notifications when you first use HPOS.

If we’ve asked you for supporting documents, we’ll need to review your application. This means you may not get your provider number straight away.

How to apply if you can’t apply online

You’ll need to use a form to apply for a Medicare provider number if you have:

  • been trained outside of Australia or New Zealand
  • conditions or notations on your provisional medical registration.

Use the Application for a Medicare provider number and, or prescriber number for a medical practitioner form. Then send us the completed form and your other documents using the lodgement address or fax number on the form.

Page last updated: 12 October 2023.
QC 53460