Headlines: December 9th, 2002

Microsoft Ltd and MSN have launched a Public Services Channel offering access to online government and healthcare services. Departments collaborating in the channel include Department of Health, the Office of the e-Envoy, Inland Revenue, the Department for Education and Skills, Department for Work & Pensions and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.The site includes direct links to the three main health sites. nhs.uk provides public access to all NHS services in the country so patients can go online to find their nearest GP, pharmacy, dentist or optician, whilst also receiving access to important need-to-know information such as hospital waiting times and outcomes, maps to find the nearest hospital, parking and public transport. The National Electronic Library for Health (NeLH) provides information on more detailed Clinical Evidence-based resources for doctors and the ‘expert patient’. NHSDirect Online completes the healthcare line-up, providing patient-orientated advice on treating common health problems at home; comprehensive information about hundreds of illnesses, conditions, tests, treatments and operations as well as and healthy living advice.

The new channel can be accessed through the MSN home page: http://www.msn.co.uk  some 11 million visitors use this site each month.