May 20, 2018 Last Updated 7:58 AM, May 18, 2018

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Healthdirect Australia to launch online symptom checker

AusBN – Healthdirect Australia has awarded Capita Healthcare Decisions with a contract to provide online healthcare advice and symptom checker.

The Healthdirect Symptom Checker will be powered by Capita’s Decision Management Software to provide users with reliable online healthcare advice.

All health information used by the checker has been through a clinically governed quality assurance review.

Capita’s technology has significantly reduced the time it takes to populate the checker with content.

Healthdirect Australi CIO Professor Anton Donker said: “An ageing population, the growth of digital by default and patients that are often living in rural or remote locations has made online access a vital part of the way we ensure that all Australians receive good quality health advice and assessment.

“The Symptom Checker places users at the centre of decision-making by guiding them to the appropriate healthcare option based on their current symptoms, helping them find local health services, and providing links to further information about their symptoms and possible causes.”

Capita international general manager added: “Our decision support software has been used by some of the world’s leading healthcare providers to power more than 85 million patient transactions.

“We revolutionised access to 24 hour health support and advice here in the UK, but our systems are also now being used as far afield as Australia, Ghana and Brazil, making Capita Healthcare Decisions a real UK export success story.”


ACCC raises concerns over Wollongong Day Surgery acquisition

AusBN – Concerns have been raised by a competition regulator over Ramsay Health Care’s acquisition of Wollongong Day Surgery.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) believes that the merger could cause an increase in prices for patients and a reduction in the quality of the healthcare services available.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said: "The ACCC is concerned that the proposed acquisition is likely to substantially lessen competition in the supply of day surgery services to private health funds and the Department of Veteran Affairs.

"The ACCC is also concerned that the proposed acquisition is likely to substantially lessen competition in the supply of day surgery services to patients in Wollongong, which may increase prices for uninsured patients or reduce the quality of facilities and/or services available to doctors and patients."


Ryman Healthcare announces expansion plans

AusBN – Retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare has announced plans to open five new villages in Melbourne by 2020.

The company also recorded a record annual net profit of A$241.9 million with an underlying profit of $136.3 million.

An unprecedented demand for new villages in Melbourne and Auckland was cited as the reason for the surge in profits.

Chairman David Kerr said: "We think the company is now poised for a terrific future in Australia and New Zealand thanks to growing demand and a significant landbank.

"We are pleased to pass this success on to our shareholders with a 15% increase in the dividend to match the rise in underlying profits.

"Our first village in Melbourne is one of our fastest selling ever. We've got ample proof that our expansion into Melbourne was the right thing to do.

"As a result we have set a target of having five villages open in Melbourne by 2020.

"We have also been pleasantly surprised by the level of demand we're seeing for our New Zealand villages, particularly in Auckland."


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