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Teething Problems In Mater Dei’s Medicine Robots That Cost €23 Million Have Been Addressed, Sources Say

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Teething problems in a robotic system for administering drugs at Mater Dei Hospital have been addressed, Lovin Malta is informed. 

Well-informed sources inside the Health Ministry spoke to the newsroom after the Malta Union for Midwives and Nurses (MUMN) claimed that a €23 million investment in two computerised systems purchased by the ministry in December 2017 and unveiled in December 2019, had resulted in a “complete failure”. 

The two systems, named Mario and Sophia, were meant to be easily used by nurses and should have guaranteed a totally error-free system of drug administration. 

Sources familiar with Mater Dei’s operations expressed their surprise at the MUMN’s statement. They pushed back against claims that the project had seen the government flush millions down the drain. They said that in reality, the robots’ supplier would be paid an amount out of the savings made as a result of the project.

“The truth is that we’re at the start of this important project and the supplier hasn’t been paid a single cent yet,” they said.

Sources indicated that most of the teething problems have now been addressed whilst acknowledging that it always takes time for a ward to become accustomed to the new way of working. 

However, they said that this was normal and to be expected with the introduction of any new complex system such as this one.

Sources noted that minor hiccups occurring during the administration rounds are addressed on the spot and where necessary, a tried and tested contingency plan kicks in.

“We’ve had more than 1,700 rounds of medication administered equivalent to over 130 thousand individual administrations and we’ve had to resort to the contingency plan in four instances,” the source said.

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Julian is the Editor at Lovin Malta with a particular interest in politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

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