September 21, 2008

Debt-Ridden Hospitals Take Meat Off Menu

Two hospitals in Australia are serving vegetarian meals because of unpaid meat bills, a provincial legislator says.

Kevin Humphries, a member of the New South Wales parliament, told the Melbourne Sun-Herald that the Greater Western Area Health Service, which operates the Gilgandra and Coonabarabran hospitals, owes money to a number of suppliers.

"Our patients deserve better. It is a sad day when staff are forced to compromise patient care with a reduced and inadequate diet," he said. "I have even heard stories of staff buying meat for their patients out of their own pockets."

The hospitals also operate Meals on Wheels services for the elderly and disabled and have also been serving meatless meals there.