Thursday 18 April, 2019

QEH vending machines dampening vendor sales

Nine years ago, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) took the initiative to remove their vending machines in an effort to encourage healthier food purchasing and consumption within their establishment. 
 
However, in recent years the board of management has reinstalled the machines on the ground floor and according to some vendors, this has substantially dampened their sales. 
 
Vendor Trevor Harper, who has been selling fruits and natural juices in close proximity to the hospital entrance for close to 40 years, said that recently things have not been the same for him. 
 
Harper described the change as a "tremendous decrease". 

"It is a pick-pick [sic] thing now. One time you could come and set up your pot and go back home but not now. You have to pick and pick and pick and pick but you will still live if you know what you're doing. If you didn't know what you were doing you would dead," he laughed. 
 
"They [customers] come occasionally, they don't come too fast but you would still get a dollar. They would come to visit their family and carry couple fruits which seems to be alright." 
 
He said he believed if the vending machines were taken out of the hospital it would improve his sales, however, he was not opposed to them being used in the hospital entirely. 
 
"You could take out some of the machines and leave the healthy stuff. I wouldn't really like to jump and say to take them out altogether because at the end of the day everybody needs a dollar. 
 
"I would be very badminded or badhearted to say lets get rid of them. I can't do that. It would be left up to the Minister that is he choice but for me it would help me." 
 
Harper also made a call for the QEH to promote healthier food options. 
 
" Those unhealthy drinks and other things are not nice. You should get healthier stuff for the patients. There are apples, grapes, oranges, tangerines, plums etcetera. Whether it's natural drinks like golden apple juice, it will save a lot."

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