Following a substantial investment in a new robotic system, the Central Procurement and Supplies Unit (CPSU), within the Ministry for Health, has robotised the process of preparing unit doses of the medicine stored at their main warehouse in San Ġwann.
This robot provides the first step of an interlinked automated process which prepares patients' prescribed medicines, by cutting sheets of blister-packed medicines into individual doses. These doses are then robotically packed in individual bags, which are then transferred to the distribution robot at Mater Dei.
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. This means that each machine is capable of catering for the country's present load, and therefore the CPSU is now well-equipped to cater for any eventual increase in demand.
Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne visited the CPSU main warehouse in San Ġwann and noted that, while the Health Ministry's main focus is currently on the Covid-19 pandemic, work and investment in other areas of the health sector have not halted.
The Deputy Prime Minister stated that this new automated system will lead to a more efficient medication storage system, as it reduces the possibility of having medicine which expires while still in storage, and provides a more reliable service to patients, as it reduces the amount of medication related errors.