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Linkable de-identified 10% sample of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS)


This data is temporarily unavailable. The Department of Health is currently working on the dataset and hope to have it restored and available again as soon as possible.


This data is a collection of the current and historical use of Medicare and PBS services. This data release contains approximately 1 billion lines of data relating to approximately 3 million Australians. The data sets have been designed to enable other datasets to be linked in the future, for example hospital data, immunisation data. The addition of these data sets will greatly increase the amount of data and open new areas of analysis.

A suite of confidentiality measures including encryption, perturbation and exclusion of rare events has been applied to safeguard personal health information and ensure that patients and providers cannot be re-identified.

Confidentialisation Methodology

All Medicare and PBS claims for a random 10% sample of patients are included in the release. To be clear, it is a 10% sample of patients, not a 10% sample of Medicare or PBS claiming activity for the selected patients. Although the data held by the Department does not contain identifiers such as individual patient names, a number of steps have been taken to further protect the confidentiality of the released data.

ID number encryption

  • Patient ID Numbers (PIN) are encrypted using the original PIN as the seed.
  • Provider ID numbers are encrypted using the original ID number as the seed.

Data adjustments

  • Only the patient’s year of birth is given, not the date of birth.
  • Date of service and date of supply are randomly perturbed to ±14 days of the true date.
  • Geographic aggregation:

> Provider State is derived by the Department of Health by mapping the provider's postcode to State. The states are then collapsed to ACT and NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, NT and SA, QLD, and WA. This is not the Servicing Provider State which is supplied from the Department of Human Services.

  • Rate event exclusion: Medicare and PBS items with extremely low service volumes have been removed.
This dataset is not publicly available. It is listed on data.gov.au as an unpublished dataset to improve discovery. Interested data users should contact the data custodian on the details below to discuss terms of access.

Additional Info

Field Value
Title Linkable de-identified 10% sample of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS)
Type Dataset
Language English
Licence Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Data Status active
Update Frequency annually
Landing Page http://data.gov.au/dataset/a8e3c0bc-44ac-4e9a-8b3c-b779438ddb10
Date Published 2016-07-07
Date Updated 2016-09-20
Contact Point
Department of Health
pbs.mbs.stats@health.gov.au
Temporal Coverage 2003-2014 PBS date of supply and 1984-2014 MBS date of service
Geospatial Coverage {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": [[[112.0, -44.0], [154.0, -44.0], [154.0, -9.0], [112.0, -9.0], [112.0, -44.0]]]}
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Data Portal data.gov.au
Publisher/Agency Department of Health
Fields of Research Health Care Administration
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