What is being spent on meals
THE Irish Independent requested information from six hospitals but only four of them, three of which are HSE-run, released copies of complaints received since 2011.
University Hospital Galway, which also runs Merlin Park Hospital, got 34 complaints since January 1, 2011 and has spent an average of €633,166 every year on food. Meals for patients are prepared in-house by a contracted company. The catering contract is currently in the tendering process.
University Hospital Limerick spends around €1.2m per annum on food, which is prepared in house by hospital staff. The hospital received seven complaints in the period investigated.
Cork University Hospital received just four complaints. Of the hospitals investigated, spending was the highest here, with an average cost of nearly €1.8m each year. Patient meals are prepared in-house by staff.
The Adelaide and Meath Hospital, better-known as Tallaght Hospital, received one complaint which it released. Spend here is €781,642 on average each year.
The Mater Hospital received 22 complaints in the period investigated but refused to make copies available and would not reveal how much money is spent on food each year.
St Vincent's also refused to release copies of complaints but revealed an average spend of €730,722 per annum with meals prepared by hospital staff.