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National Health Index Number

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The National Health Index (NHI) number is a unique number assigned to patients to help identification when using health and disability services.

What is an NHI number?

The National Health Index (NHI) number is a unique number assigned to you to help identify you when you use health and disability services.

How long have NHI numbers been used in New Zealand?

Health professionals have been using a form of the NHI number for more than 20 years. All New Zealand-born children receive their own NHI number at birth. About 95% of NZ citizens now have their own NHI number.


What does an NHI number look like?

It is a unique combination of numbers and letters such as ABC1234. The information stored on your NHI number is your:
  • Name and address
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
Your NHI number is not your health record, nor does it contain clinical information. You will keep the same number, even when you marry or change your name.

Who looks after the NHI?

The New Zealand Health Information Service (NZHIS), which is part of the Ministry of Health, is the custodian of the NHI system. It has to meet all the requirements of the Privacy Act 1993 as well as the Health Information Privacy Code 1994. The NZHIS ensures your information is secure and that procedures are in place to prevent unauthorised access.
More information about NHI is available from the Ministry of Health website

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