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Byron Shire
March 3, 2021

Hospital food

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Recently I got to sample the unpalatable food dished up in our local hospitals. Whether you are recovering from major surgery or are very sick, the food you are served should be fresh and appetising.

All hot meals served at Murwillumbah and Tweed hospitals are pre-cooked and frozen in Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide.

The computer ordering system very often gets the order wrong. The catering staff at both hospitals are fed up with the system and the complaints they receive daily from the patients.

One woman confided in me, ‘Today and yesterday are the first days that I haven’t broken down in tears!’ she told me. ‘I used to sing all day at work. I’ve worked here for over 30 years. I can’t wait till I retire in two years’.

Later I heard her across in the opposite ward, starting her standard spiel of the menu, in her gruff, unhappy voice, until she remembered, someone had listened to her complaints, someone had heard her. The tone in her voice changed. The patient opposite me shared a look with me, we both recognised the change in her demeanour, just from my small show of support.

I will send a letter to both CEOs of these hospitals and hope some changes can be made.


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  1. I had a week in Lismore Base last year and was placed on a reduced fluid and low salt and low sugar diet. Pretty boring so one morning I snuck down to the café near the front entrance and bugger me there was a bain marie chock full of egg and bacon rolls and hash browns. Wolfed some down and followed up with chocolate milk. One guy on my ward had his grand daughter smuggle in Macca’s so there is always a solution to hospital food.


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