Dunedin Hospital patients protest food's low nutritional value
Mince on white bread doesn't sound like the most nutritious meal, but that's what's being served to some patients at Dunedin Hospital.
A private firm recently took over the production of meals,and patients have started an online revolt.
Pamela Clark is packing up veggies from her garden to take to her mum. She says the 82-year-old needs them because she's recovering from hip surgery and she was served plain mince, mushroom soup and bread in Dunedin Hospital this week.
She's not the only one disappointed. Since private firm Compass took over the preparation of meals at Dunedin Hospital in February, a number of people have been posting pictures of their meals online.
A woman who spent 18 hours in labour was served a kebab she said even her pets wouldn't eat.
Then there was a meal, served to a 96-year-old, with the question posed: "Where are the veggies?"
"I can't tell you what that is, and I can't tell you the amount you've got -- nothing there on the scale, showing how large that is," says Health Minister Jonathan Coleman. "What I can tell you is there are standards around nutrition in food in all our hospitals, and all our DHBs have to adhere to them."
Dunedin South MP Clare Curran says trucking frozen food down from Auckland to serve to patients isn't good enough, and she's calling for an investigation.
"It's a disaster and it's simply not good enough," she says. "It's been described as 'frozen gloop'."
Newshub tried to get a response from both the Southern District Health Board, who runs Dunedin Hospital, and Compass, who provides the food, but neither would appear on camera or offer an explanation.
Dr Coleman says anyone else who has concerns about nutritional value of hospital meals should write to him.