The vending machine is attached to a pharmacy that will care and stock it, Source: City of Blagoevgrad

Vending machine provides basic medication 24/7 for the citizens of Blagoevgrad

Vending machine provides basic medication 24/7 for the citizens of Blagoevgrad

Local authorities combine convenience with the push for better healthcare services

Earlier this week, Ilko Stoyanov, the mayor of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, unveiled the municipality’s first 24/7 vending machine for over-the-counter medication and medical supplies. The project was provoked by the fact that the city, with a population of 74,000 people, currently does not have any 24/7 pharmaceutical services available.

Over the counter medication

The vending machine is located in the centre of Blagoevgrad and is attached to a local pharmacy called ‘Aneta and Sons’ (Анета и Сие). The pharmacy will take care of and stock the machine with medication and supplies. The goal behind the move is to help provide citizens with over-the-counter, basic drugs like paracetamol, flu medication, aspirin and bandages, as well as flu medication for kids.

The move is provoked by the recently elected mayor’s attempt to boost the quality of medical services in the city. During his announcement of the vending machine, he said that local authorities plan to expand the initiative to cover a much bigger part of Blagoevgrad.

Current plans include a meeting with representatives and owners of family-owned pharmacies, as well as larger national chains. With these meetings, the mayor hopes to find support for the expansion of the public/private initiative.

Medical staff and a specialised Covid-ward

During his bid to better the healthcare services of the city, Mayor Stoyanov announced a new housing plan for medical staff in the city. Blagoevgrad currently does not have the required personnel to staff a COVID-19 specialised treatment zone.

According to local authorities, the funding for equipment and salaries is available, however, there is currently only one nurse willing to work. This prompted the Municipality to offer any new medical personel coming from outside the city temporary accommodation in the three newly constructed social housing buildings.

The mayor was quoted in a press release, saying: "The Municipality of Blagoevgrad has the absolute will to provide the full assistance we can so that professionals have adequate conditions to live and work here. We are betting on the future and I believe that we will succeed."



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