Minister admits hospital food prices could increase

 Jonathan Coleman has admitted the country’s District Health Boards will be paying more for food supplied by Compass if they don’t all sign up to the deal with the private contractor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. 

“In a written question, the Minister claims that prices will only go down if more DHBs come on board.

“He must be worried with reports from around the country of growing discontent with the service. In Gisborne the demand for Meals on Wheels  halved after its meals were outsourced to Compass. 

“Complaints ranged from the variety of the food to the temperature of the meals. 

“The Southern DHB has been struggling with a longstanding revolt about the quality of their Compass supplied hospital food. 

“The current Compass prices for food are based on all 20 District Health Board signing up. So far under half have signed up. 

“District Health Boards who have refused have been under the hammer to sign up and make this dubious deal a goer. 

“It is an ongoing tragedy that people have been made redundant with the introduction of the Compass food deal. 

“This whole exercise is a shoddy bid to cut costs after the Government axed $1.7 billion from the Health budget,” says Annette King.