Better food in hospitals will save money in the long term

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“It is about time hospitals in New Zealand administer the basics well. Food is medicine and it needs to be better in New Zealand, not cheaper,” says Debbie Swanwick, Spokesperson, Soil & Health – Organic NZ.

Her comments follow the recent announcement that the government is considering outsourcing hospital food to save ten million dollars.

“If they do, NZ taxpayers will end up paying the price in both their health and out of their back pocket,” she says. “Last year each New Zealander paid $2,500 to support the sick in this country. (3) We forecast that a government directive to put food on the menu of NZ hospitals that is over a week old and not locally sourced would increase those costs,” (4) says Swanwick.

In 2012 14.2 billion dollars was spent on healthcare in New Zealand (1).
In the latest OECD Health Data 2012 report, 83.2% of health spending is funded by the taxpayer. This is well above the average of 72.2% in other OECD countries. (2)

“We need a holistic approach to these problems. Taking money from one department whilst increasing the overall expenditure every year to care for our sick is short-sighted. Your diet should always be the first place you look for good medicine and the NZ public should have the best available, especially when they are sick. That food should be fresh, GE-free, pesticide and additive free and labelled organic, and locally sourced where possible. We call that good healthcare. It is also responsible management of taxpayer funds,” says Swanwick.

Soil & Health is one of the oldest organic organisations in the world and advocates for the consumer’s right to have fresh, healthy, organic food and water free of GE, pesticides and additives and their right to know what is in their food and water. Oranga nuku, oranga kai oranga tangata. To learn more about what is really in your food subscribe to their Facebook Page and subscribe http://www.facebook.com/OrganicNZ

To view online click here www.organicnz.org.nz/node/623

References

(1) http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10808180

(2) http://www.oecd.org/newzealand/BriefingNoteNEWZEALAND2012.pdf

(3) http://www.stats.govt.nz/tools_and_services/tools/population_clock.aspx

(4) http://www.3news.co.nz/Concern-over-hospital-food-plans/tabid/1607/artic…