In a warehouse in San Ġwann, robots are splitting medicines and packing them into individual bags, to be delivered to patients at Mater Dei Hospital.
The futuristic scene is part of a newly-automated process at the Central Procurement and Supplies Unit within the Health Ministry.
It involves robots cutting sheets of blister-packed medicines into individual doses and then packing them into separate bags, for delivery to Mater Dei.
Once at the hospital, yet another robot, named 'Mario', is used to distribute medicine doses.
The automated central pharmacy robots and ward-based medicine cabinets, which are interfaced with the electronic prescribing system SOFIA, are capable of producing circa 4,000-unit doses per day.
In a statement announcing the investment, the Health Ministry said each machine is capable of catering for the country’s present load, meaning the CPSU is now well-equipped to cater for any eventual increase in demand.
Health Minister Chris Fearne visited the CPSU main warehouse in San Ġwann and said that the new system would increase efficiency, reduce the chances of medicines expiring while still in storage and also cut the amount of medication-related errors.
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