Photo: South West Hospital and Health Service Community Nutritionist Rohan Ballon and Roma Hospital
Operational Services Officer Raelene Dale check out the sugar-free healthier drink options at the
hospital canteen.

South West Hospital and Health Service facilities will be entirely free of sugary and other
unhealthy drinks by June.

“As health service providers, it is up to us to show the way forward to a healthier future by
example,’’ South West HHS Chief Executive Linda Patat said.

Ms Patat said the health service had been at the forefront of developing a framework to oversee
the implementation of Queensland Health’s “Healthier drinks at healthcare facilities Best
Practice Guide”.

“This work, which started in January 2017, has since been shared with other hospital and health
services,’’ she said.

“The drinks guide aims to provide a healthier range of options for patients, visitors and staff at
Queensland Health facilities.

“Within the South West HHS, we have vending machines at Roma, Mitchell, St George and
Charleville hospitals and an in-hospital café/canteen at Roma.

“In line with the best practice guide, our drink vending machines at Roma and Mitchell now offer
only sugar-free drinks or water.

“We expect that the St George and Charleville vending machines will be in a similar situation
before June.

“The Roma Hospital canteen also now offers only healthy drink options following the removal of
more than 20 previously available less healthy product lines.

“This required a major change in focus at the canteen and I congratulate both the staff of the
canteen and our healthier choices project team for the sterling work they have done.’’

Ms Patat said the changes, both at the Roma Hospital canteen and health facility vending
machines, were intended to promote a healthier choice for patients, visitors and staff, as well as
offering an example to the broader community.

“To complement this work, the South West HHS last year also rolled out new, nutritionally rich
and appetising standardised menus to all inpatient and aged care health facilities across the
South West,’’ she said.

“All the menu items meet the latest high nutritional and dietary standards and – just as
importantly – are appetising for consumers.

“Indeed, the work our healthier choices project team has done in delivering healthy drinking and
eating options for patients, visitors and staff throughout our facilities was recognised at last
year’s Queensland Health Awards for Excellence in the category of Promoting Wellbeing, where
the team was a finalist.’’

ENDS

For further information contact:
James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379
Jim.Guthrie@health.qld.gov.au