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How we support access to Australian Government health and welfare data
We support researchers and the public to access data we hold about health and welfare. We reuse this information for project and research purposes.
We make sure the data we provide helps to improve health and welfare research outcomes. Research could involve both:
- statistical information that is available to the public
- individual datasets that require specific approval to access.
The relevant policy department must make sure legislation and regulations allow the access, use and disclosure of data.
How to access our statistical information
You can access statistical information about our payments and services for:
We keep a public data catalogue of health and welfare information. You can access the catalogue on the Australian Government Data website.
You can also find statistical information:
- in our Annual Report
- on the Information Publication Scheme page
- in our Freedom of Information disclosure log.
If you need more detailed data, you can request items such as:
- de-identified unit records
- consent studies
- personal information
- data linkages.
You need to contact us if you're seeking Medicare or Centrelink data for people enrolled in ethical approved consent studies. You must contact us before you begin to recruit people. We can only release some data with informed consent and within strict privacy conditions.
You can read about integrating data from administrative or survey sources on the National Statistical Service website.
You can request data that isn’t publicly available by contacting us.
The time we need to respond to requests depends on the type and complexity of the data you require. Generally:
- we’ll register, analyse and assess your request and give you a reference number plus documents you need to complete
- when you return the documents, we’ll make sure your request complies with the legislation
- we’ll make a decision to release the data in partnership with relevant policy departments.
We assess your request against a set of criteria, listed in the following table.
|Purpose||Needs to answer a specific research question or be of public benefit, to enhance the health or wellbeing of Australians.|
|Anonymity||We do anonymity checks before we approve your request, and again before we provide information.|
|Consent||We'll only provide identified and identifiable information with the valid consent of the identified people or entities.|
|Secrecy Provisions||We'll only approve requests if we can release information in accordance with relevant secrecy provisions. Requests must also be in line with the relevant legislation.|
|Privacy||We can only release data to meet the same purpose it was collected for.|
After an initial assessment, we send your request to our data extraction teams. Our staff will review the request to make sure it is fit for purpose. We may contact you to clarify your data needs.
If your request involves extraction or requires customised statistics and data, a fee may apply. We'll give you a quote of the cost to provide this information. Once you accept the quote, we'll extract the data in the agreed timeframes.
Our quote will include the items in the following table.
|Components||Cost to you|
|Administration||A flat fee for initial assessment and processing.|
|Extraction||An hourly time and materials fee for customer liaison, clarifying your request, consent or committee activities, extraction, and quality assurance. We base this on the hourly rate of the people working on your request.|
|Clearance||A flat fee for approvals to release and invoicing activities.|
Before we release the data, it will be quality assured to ensure it meets your needs. We'll send you an invoice for payment.
How media can request statistical information
Contact our Media team if you need statistical information for a media enquiry.
Email all data requests to External Information Release or post to:Information Release Assurance
Data and Analytics Engagement Branch
PO Box 7788
Canberra BC ACT 2610
You can get instant access to statistical information about Medicare programs administered by us. This includes MBS, PBS and RPBS, AODR, PIP, and AIR.
We maintain an active account on data.gov.au with many datasets in a machine readable format.