Following the initial National Health Information Development Plan in 1995, national health information in Australia has developed considerable momentum. As the quality, reliability and timeliness of the information have improved so have the utility and the use of the information. There are now a number of national health information systems and data collections that are widely used for analysis and comparison at all levels of the health care system. The first part of this document is background that describes national health information, its functions and key elements, assesses progress under the 1995 Plan, and notes recent developments and issues relating to new priorities. The second part presents the new priorities and the plan for their implementation.