I don’t know about you but I felt a bit sick watching Health Minister Jonathon Coleman eat supposed Dunedin hospital food last week. Dunedin people have tolerated a crumbling hospital, lower access to services, longer waiting times and gross food for too long. Does he really think that Dunedin people are so easily fooled by such a cheap stunt? And to claim that we have to “adjust our expectations” is a disgraceful statement by the Health Minister.
I think that behind the cheap stunt and cheesy grin, his comment really hit at the heart of his approach to the health of New Zealanders. When he says “adjust your expectations” he’s really saying “lower your expectations, because Health is just not a priority”.
For years, the National Government, have been underfunding the health sector, leaving sick New Zealanders and their families to miss out and suffer. While he might not think that a gross hospital meal is a problem, we know that when you are sitting in a hospital bed, sick, sore and worried, it really does matter.
On top of that, his defence of the food is just another example of how the Health Minister always comes down on the side of status quo instead of the side of health. His instinct isn’t to listen to what people are saying and look into the issue. His instinct is to defend his low funding, long waiting times and his gross food instead of taking action. Just look at his Government’s listening to the junk food lobby instead of the hundreds of calls for a soft drink levy that would reduce our crippling obesity rates.
For the Minister to just go in for a stunt hospital meal and tell us that we need to stop being fussy, makes me feel sick. Dunedin people are saying that we can’t stomach the food at our hospital. And we can’t stomach his attitude either.