National mental health information priorities 2nd edition

5.1 - Overall health information governance arrangements

Page last updated: June 2005

In July 2003, Health Ministers agreed to a revised national health information organisational structure to provide improved coordination and governance of national data collection, data standards and information technology development. The structure includes two peak bodies under the auspices of the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) and the Australian Health Ministers' Conference (AHMC):

  • the Australian Health Information Council, comprising experts drawn from within and external to the health industry, which advises on the longer term strategic directions for health information; and

  • the National Health Information Group, comprising jurisdictional representatives from each of the States and Territories and the Australian Government, which oversees national health information activity and advises on information requirements, technology planning and management, and the allocation of resources to work groups.
A number of other standing committees and working groups operate beneath and alongside these two peak bodies to take the national work forward in specific areas. Figure 7 summarises the arrangements.

Figure 7: National health information governance structure at October 200331

Refer to the following text for a text equivalent of figure 7: National health information governance structure at October 2003
Larger version of figure 7 (GIF 118 KB)
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Text version of figure 7

The Australian Health Information Council (AHIC) and the National Health Information Group (NHIG) advise the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council. The Advisory Council reports to the Australian Health Ministers Council (which works with other Ministerial councils and also works directly with the AHIC).

The AHIC advises on longer term strategic directions, and the NHIG advises on national information requirements, technology planning and management and allocates resources to national work groups.

The AHIC-NHIG Secretariat Arrangements operate under both the AHIC and NHIG, and include the following set for purpose work groups:
  • HealthConnect
  • Electronic Decision Support
  • Better Medication Management Strategy
  • National Provider Directory
  • National Supply Chain Reform
  • National Health Privacy Code
  • Telehealth
Also underneath the NHIG are the following standing committees:
  • Statistical Information Committee
  • National Advisory Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Information and Data
  • National Public Health Information Working Group (noting that NPHIWG will continue to advise NPHP on public health information policy and strategies)
  • Health Data Standards Committee
  • Information Technology Committee
  • Information Communications and Technology Standards Committee
  • National Health Performance Committee
Other national advisory groups to liaise with the NHIG on information management and technology issues and interpretation of health data for policy analysis include:
  • Care Option for Older Australians
  • GPCG
  • NPHP
  • Clinical Casemix Committee of Australia
  • National Mental Health Working Group
  • Medical indemnity Data Working Group


31 A number of structural changes have since been made to these arrangements, in particular, the establishment of the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) in 2004 to promote the adoption of e-health across the Australian health sector.