The race is on between Rubicon and First Assist to launch a medical triage product that will outsource the problem of sickness at work.

Both companies are piloting medical care packages to deal with injuries, physiotherapy and the monitoring and management of absenteeism. By diverting all sickness at work calls to separate call centres the companies will be able to monitor absenteeism and offer appropriate action such as home visits by trained medical staff to verify or treat the illness.

First Assist marketing and sales director Chris Jones said: "This is an employee well being service with sickness management at its heart.

"We are hopeful of being appointed as a third-party provider within the next couple of weeks."

Though there are various different levels of service, the foundation is a complete management information tool that gives employers a detailed analysis of staff absenteeism through illness and the ability to deal with the problem.

  • Rubicon is also reported to be in the process of launching a policy administration scheme for new Irish healthcare provider Centura Health Administration.
  • Although the name of the new company formed to handle the business is still unknown the scheme is due to launch in early summer, backed by Irish billionaire Dermot Desmond.