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Glacial Canberra Hospital open their ears on hospital food (but not for the patients)

By 29 March 2013 15

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Hospital food is always going to be a vexed issue.

Every penny spent on it could be going towards another staff member’s salary, a piece of equipment, a secure multi user data entry system, a bottle of hand sanitiser, the list goes on.

On that constrained budget then consider the vast swathe of humanity to be catered to. Different cultures, languages, dietary needs, taboos. Vulnerable people, confused people.

Even catering to the median patient will leave huge areas on the edges of the distribution curve screaming angry.

Frankly one wonders if mashed potato and gatorade on the house should be the limit of hospital food and a stack of home delivery brochures by every bedside.

Nothing so elegant sadly. Instead the Health Directorate has kicked off a consultation process with a discussion paper on food and drink choices at the Canberra Hospital and other ACT Health facilities.

Intriguingly though the one thing punters care about, food for patients, is off the table.

“Greater access to healthy choices will be provided through ACT Health food outlets, staff cafeteria, vending machines and at ACT Health meetings, functions, events and education sessions,” Dr Kelly said.

“Healthy eating is important for promoting good health and wellbeing through all stages of life.

“We want to encourage people to choose healthier options more often, rather than foods and drinks that are high in saturated fat, salt, added sugars and excess kilojoules.

“One of the best ways to promote healthy eating is to provide a wide variety of healthy food options that are displayed prominently and are attractive to consumers,” Dr Kelly said.

Food provided to patients as part of their hospital stay will not be included in the initiative as a patient’s diet may be an important part of their treatment.

“The first step will be to consult widely with the public, volunteers, staff, food outlet managers and other stakeholders, to ensure this new initiative is effective in promoting healthy eating, while still providing the flexibility to cater for individual needs and preferences,” Dr Kelly concluded.

Carrot sticks all round.

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15 Responses to Glacial Canberra Hospital open their ears on hospital food (but not for the patients)
#1
basketcase1:06 pm, 29 Mar 13

Personally I think patients should pay for their food. They would have to if they weren’t in hospital. If eating is to be tax funded, then it has to be cheapest possible food.

#2
How_Canberran1:49 pm, 29 Mar 13

basketcase said :

Personally I think patients should pay for their food. They would have to if they weren’t in hospital. If eating is to be tax funded, then it has to be cheapest possible food.

A great initiative! After we are done and dusted with the hospital, we could also apply it to the AMC.

How Canberran.

#3
gooterz2:16 pm, 29 Mar 13

What’s wrong with hot food in cold Canberra.

If ACT Labor hasn’t done enough to rid the ACT of school canteens they’re going to close down the hospital’s food areas also?

No ones going to pay wages selling carrot sticks. If you want to eat healthy you’d bring things from home.

Who goes to Canberra hospital to visit a sick friend then gets upset because they can’t eat healthy.
Sounds like if Labor have their way we’ll all be charged $20 for a salad roll, with no other choices. So anyone visiting the hospital will go hungry.

I read this as them thinking that the patient food is healthy and everyone should have it.

Maybe they should do something about the hospital waiting times……

#4
gooterz2:19 pm, 29 Mar 13

basketcase said :

Personally I think patients should pay for their food. They would have to if they weren’t in hospital. If eating is to be tax funded, then it has to be cheapest possible food.

Yes because those needing to be staying in hospital should have to worry about funding their meals.

In china and other places make sure you have change to use a bathroom. Maybe we could do the same here.

#5
poetix2:38 pm, 29 Mar 13

basketcase said :

Personally I think patients should pay for their food. They would have to if they weren’t in hospital. If eating is to be tax funded, then it has to be cheapest possible food.

What a terribly mean-spirited attitude. Nobody chooses to be in hospital. Having nutritious, tasty food would aid patients’ recovery, and also give them something to look forward to, to break up the monotony.

While they are of course right in noting that patients’ diets are sometimes an important part of their treatment, for the majority simply having something enjoyable and healthy to eat would be the major consideration. I know that many elderly patients in hospital (not this one in particular) lose too much weight simply because they don’t like the food and won’t eat it.

It is good that staff and visitors will have healthy options, but they already have the chance to go elsewhere, unlike those patients who are stuck in bed. I hope that the nature of patients’ meals is also being monitored.

#6
Masquara3:06 pm, 29 Mar 13

Nanny state should back off.

Has the ACT Labor Government responded to the recent ABC reports that ACT schools serve the unhealthiest food in the country? How about starting there?

I eat an uber-healthy diet at home – I reserve the right to eat something fatty and “unhealthy” when I am out of the house, and that would include any visit to Canberra Hospital.

There is a gaping hole in all of these nanny state discussions about food – where are the brakes on alcohol? Excess alcohol consumption is far more damaging to people’s health than the odd hamburger.

#7
Genie3:16 pm, 29 Mar 13

How_Canberran said :

basketcase said :

Personally I think patients should pay for their food. They would have to if they weren’t in hospital. If eating is to be tax funded, then it has to be cheapest possible food.

A great initiative! After we are done and dusted with the hospital, we could also apply it to the AMC.

.

The food at AMC is of better quality than what patients are given in our hospitals

#8
Jethro6:51 pm, 29 Mar 13

Masquara said :

Nanny state should back off.

Has the ACT Labor Government responded to the recent ABC reports that ACT schools serve the unhealthiest food in the country? How about starting there?

I eat an uber-healthy diet at home – I reserve the right to eat something fatty and “unhealthy” when I am out of the house, and that would include any visit to Canberra Hospital.

There is a gaping hole in all of these nanny state discussions about food – where are the brakes on alcohol? Excess alcohol consumption is far more damaging to people’s health than the odd hamburger.

I know I always enjoy the open bar when I visit the Canberra hospital.

It annoys me, however, that the nanny staters have banned me from ordering unhealthy food when I leave my house.

#9
schmeah8:13 pm, 29 Mar 13

When I found myself in an Eastern European hospital once for a number of days, I found out the hard way that patients had to bring their own toilet paper … not sure about the food because well, they just never fed me anything. Savages, even the TCH gruel would have made my day.

#10
Pork Hunt9:11 pm, 29 Mar 13

Jethro said :

Masquara said :

Nanny state should back off.

Has the ACT Labor Government responded to the recent ABC reports that ACT schools serve the unhealthiest food in the country? How about starting there?

I eat an uber-healthy diet at home – I reserve the right to eat something fatty and “unhealthy” when I am out of the house, and that would include any visit to Canberra Hospital.

There is a gaping hole in all of these nanny state discussions about food – where are the brakes on alcohol? Excess alcohol consumption is far more damaging to people’s health than the odd hamburger.

I know I always enjoy the open bar when I visit the Canberra hospital.

It annoys me, however, that the nanny staters have banned me from ordering unhealthy food when I leave my house.

Where has this happened? What is banned?

#11
Dacquiri10:01 pm, 29 Mar 13

I should soooo not tell you this… but it looks like the ACT Health Directorate’s ‘surveymonkey’ staff survey about food is available to all and sundry — just found it on Google when I entered the name of the discussion paper as the search term. I was able to go through the survey quite happily.

#12
gun street girl7:23 pm, 30 Mar 13

poetix said :

basketcase said :

It is good that staff and visitors will have healthy options, but they already have the chance to go elsewhere, unlike those patients who are stuck in bed.

Not true, WRT the staff. Canberra Hospital offers few choices for staff members: there’s the staff cafeteria (which could hardly be described as inspiring), and a single commercial outlet which is predominantly open to the public. “Going elsewhere” would mean physically leaving the hospital campus during a shift, which is obviously not an option for anyone working in a clinical role. It would be good to see some competition for the commercial monopoly on Level 2; I suspect it would result in a greater choice and quality.

#13
IrishPete8:56 pm, 30 Mar 13

Dacquiri said :

I should soooo not tell you this… but it looks like the ACT Health Directorate’s ‘surveymonkey’ staff survey about food is available to all and sundry — just found it on Google when I entered the name of the discussion paper as the search term. I was able to go through the survey quite happily.

not so fast – it says the survey closed in December…

IP

#14
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd7:54 am, 31 Mar 13

basketcase said :

Personally I think patients should pay for their food. They would have to if they weren’t in hospital. If eating is to be tax funded, then it has to be cheapest possible food.

My thoughts exactly.

#15
DrKoresh1:33 pm, 31 Mar 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

basketcase said :

Personally I think patients should pay for their food. They would have to if they weren’t in hospital. If eating is to be tax funded, then it has to be cheapest possible food.

My thoughts exactly.

So generous, what warm human beings you are.
I wish people like you two would stop acting as if tax payer money is actually yours to decide what to do with, instead of the price you pay to be a part of and maintain (for all it’s many failings) a pretty great country. I pay tax now too, and disagree with both of you. No-one’s calling for gourmet menus, but having spent a fortnight laid up in the hospital the food is a fecking disgrace. The dinners are vomit inducing, usually the only edible thing provided being fruit, if it weren’t for my fam smuggling me a burger or some chips every other day I’d have eaten nothing but apples. If someone has no visitors and is in hospital for something the prevents them from getting up out of bed by themselves then they’re screwed, even if they wanted to buy their own meal (which anyone having to eat hospital food would) they can’t and have to eat something that looks and smells like it’s already been eaten once already or go hungry.

I’d be more than happy for my taxes to go into providing decent food for patients in such circumstances.

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