Second Adelaide healthcare facility comes under fire over substandard food



December 19, 2018 12:41:33

Hospital food has a poor reputation, but the meals at an Adelaide healthcare facility have been described as particularly inedible.

Key points:

  • It is the second healthcare facility in Adelaide to be criticised for its standard of food this year
  • The Royal Adelaide Hospital was flooded with complaints over its fare in April
  • A long-term patient at the Repatriation General Hospital says the food there is “just appalling”

Mandy Jamieson, a long-term patient at the Repatriation General Hospital in Daw Park, said the meals at the newly opened ward were bland, dry and “stuck to your mouth”.

“You can’t eat it,” she told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“The fish and rice for instance, it’s so dry, it’s brought in frozen and then reheated.”

“So by the time it’s been cooked through twice it’s dry and there’s no flavour. It’s just appalling.”

It is the second Adelaide hospital to be grilled over its poor fare this year, after the Royal Adelaide Hospital was beset by complaints in April over bland, poor quality and late meal deliveries.

Ms Jamieson described chips at the Repatriation General Hospital as “still frozen in the middle” as well as carrots and gravy that “smell … worse than [they] look”.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said he and staff wished to apologise to patients.

“The issues in relation to the food quality are disappointing,” he said.

“SA Health became aware of them on the weekend and has been actively pursuing them since.”

Mr Wade said the meals were being prepared by a private company that also served food at the neighbouring Vita healthcare facility.

“It’s not surprising that in any substantial move there will be teething problems,” he said.

Patients at the Repat have been in the health system for a long time — in many cases, months — while they wait for places in aged care or support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Ms Jamieson said a fridge and a microwave had been installed for patients who were prepared to heat up their own meals.

“I myself am mostly in a wheelchair, there’s amputees here … if they could fend for themselves and put a meal in the microwave, they wouldn’t need to be here,” she said.

But Ms Jamieson also defended the Repat.

“The staff here are absolutely brilliant … there is no issues with the staff, it’s just the food.”










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