Fondazione Zoé

How can a meatball, perhaps made of meat, become inedible even for those unfussy eaters? 

In 2010, the State -Region Conference approved the National Address lines for hospital catering developed by the Ministry, with the aim of improving the relationship between the recovering patient and food in order to prevent and treat cases of malnutrition. It would seem, however, that the cuts to the health sector, due to the severe economic crisis, have undermined these good intentions. As the reported result of a study of the National Health Regions, the quality of the food that given to the patients is rejected in one case out of three. It might seem acceptable but it is not.  In fact it is not reported either whether the two patients who do not reject the poor quality food are actually satisfied or not. The hospitalized patients unfortunately have other things to think about and a complaint about something like food is considered secondary, could disturb treatment.

After a long introduction, the facts must follow from my own experience of a short stay in hospital and my encounters with the food given to patients. How can a simple coffee with milk become undrinkable and a pumpkin purée become slop? How can a meatball, perhaps made of meat, become inedible even for those unfussy eaters? Then I wondered if there was a clinical nutrition service at this hospital and the answer was: there is in this hospital as there should be in at least 10% of hospitals located in the North. But if these are the results you’d think that this service is only concerned with personalized diets and diagnosed cases of malnutrition, therefore neglecting the quality of “standard” food diets which involves a notable percentage of patients. It’s a shame that everything has come to this! The ritual of the daily meal, for a patient who already has sufficient reason to have the moral ground, should be used to improve their mood, banish bad thoughts, foster a sense of aggregation between people creating conversation that distracts them from the reality of hospital stays. This type of food instead, so poorly served, with efficiency, but also with such coldness, can only have the opposite effect.
Certainly there are those who care about the turnover of profit that the companies that provide this service (!?). Few think the fact that the sense of well-being that can result from even feeling better when you are sick combined with a little optimism, may actually promote the healing process shortening the length of hospital stays and a gain for the entire health service.



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