Buy factory-made TV dinner food, when patients deserve freshly cooked, nutritious meals to heal?
HAMILTON, ON – There is little dispute that fresh, local, nutritious food, cooked in the hospital kitchen is what’s best for convalescing patients. But Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) intends to close its in-house kitchens and buy plated, microwavable “TV dinner” style food from a factory-operation outside of Toronto.
“It’s the wrong decision,” says Dave Murphy the president of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 7800 representing nearly 4000 HHS hospital staff. “If quality patient care and outcomes are a priority, why would HHS buy factory-food and truck it down the QEW? It’s not in the best interest of patients or Hamilton’s local economy,” says Murphy.
On Monday (May 25, 2015) 10:30 a.m. CUPE 7800 will hold a media conference outside Hamilton General Hospital (corner of Victoria and Barton) to announce a community-based campaign to keep HHS patient food local.
The HHS board of directors will be voting at the end June on a 10-year contract with a giant multinational company that will prepare patient meals in a factory and truck them to Hamilton.
“It’s not a done deal. We think that once they know what the hospital is planning, the people in our community won’t support this because it’s a bad deal for patients and it’s a bad deal for Hamilton’s local economy,” says Murphy. “Rather, we believe that like us they want our hospitals to use a fresh approach. Buying produce and meat grown locally and cooking it fresh for patients in the hospital kitchens is the way to go.”
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