Administrative hospital and physician data from Brazil

As part of their research on health care, IFS researchers use administrative data on hospital procedures and physicians.

These data are publicly available in Brazil but as the data are being processed in the UK, they are subject to UK data protection law. Because of the nature of the data, it is not possible to issue direct privacy notices to data subjects. This webpage is designed to inform you about how we are using your data.

The data

The data contain information on physicians and hospital procedures that is publicly available in Brazil The data sources are described below:

Datasus/SIH: consists of records of hospital procedures performed in the Brazilian public healthcare system. It contains identifiers of physicians used by the Brazilian health system. Link to aggregate data: More information on Produção Hospitalar (SIH/SUS) – DATASUS (

Datasus/CNES/PF: provides the list of all accredited hospitals in the country with monthly information of all registered staff. More information on CNES – Estabelecimentos – DATASUS (

CNRM (Brazilian Commission of Medical Residency): includes information of all physicians who concluded medical training by residency program over time. More information on SisCNRM - Sistema da Comissão Nacional de Residência Médica (

CFM (Brazilian Medical Council): contains information of all registered physician in the country as well as their specialty (if any). More information on Busca por médicos | (

The physician identifier contained in the hospital procedure data allows that data to be matched to registries containing individual-level information on physicians’ demographic variables as well as place of study.

 Why the data are needed

The data are used in a research project that investigates the drivers behind the choices made by physicians about what treatments to use. In order to implement robust empirical methods to investigate whether choices are affected by the treatment patterns of nearby colleagues we need to (i) link physicians’ activity data with information on their demographic characteristics as well as (ii) map teams of physicians working together in the same hospital. This is why we need to process this data.

There may be benefits to society from this research. If it is the case that physicians adapt their medical practical to reflect that of their colleagues, the composition of teams of physicians would then affect the type of care received by patients. Policymakers could, thus, influence how teams of physicians are grouped in public healthcare system aiming at increasing quality of care provided as well as decreasing costs.

How long will we keep the data?

As these data are to be used for research there is an exemption to storage limitation under GDPR. We plan to keep the data at our institution as long as we have projects that use the data or where there is a reasonable chance that the data may be used in the future for further research

We will ensure that your records are secure for as long as we continue this study.

How do we take care of your data?

Access to these data is restricted and controlled. Only  researchers working on projects that need to use these data are given access. We will only ever publish non-disclosive outputs which means that it will be impossible to identify you from anything that is published. The data will not be shared with anyone else.

Legal basis for using the data

Our lawful basis for processing these data is: legitimate interests 6(1)(f). Our legitimate interest in question is research and statistical purposes: the conduct of non-commercial, robust social and bio-medical research to inform research, policy and clinical practice.

Your rights

The UK Data Protection Act (2018) provides the following rights for individuals:

  • The right to be informed
  • The right of access
  • The right of rectification
  • The right of erasure
  • The right to restrict processing
  • The right to data portability
  • The right to object
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

As your data will be processed for scientific research purposes as detailed in above, various exceptions from these rights apply. In particular, the right to access, the right to rectification, the right to restrict processing, and the right to object do not apply, provided the appropriate safeguards are in place. In addition, the right to erasure is not absolute, and does not apply if it would seriously impair processing necessary for scientific research.

However, if you wish to submit a request for your data to be deleted, please contact us at [email protected]

If you have complaint you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Our contact details

If you wish to discuss the way that we use your data, please contact Paula Spinola [email protected] or you can write to her at

The Institute for Fiscal Studies

7 Ridgmount Street



If you have concerns over the way that we use your data please contact the data protection officer you should email [email protected] or write to them at the above address.