There is a link from Drudge to a rather disturbing article about the poor nutrition in UK hospitals, and how prisoners are served better meals than the sick and elderly. Mom can certainly attest to the poor quality food that's being served in the hospital where Webb's been staying. I mean, the poor woman has had to eat it for over a week!
Once Webb got off the BiPAP and could eat, my mom was determined to find nutrient-dense foods to serve him. The only real food she has been able to find in the hospital is whole milk and bananas. That's it. Search over. Unfortunately, the hospital is only skilled in the preparation of non-foods.
For example, available for breakfast are: canned applesauce, canned fruit cocktail, liquid scrambled eggs, instant grits, and cereal. If you would like butter for your grits, you are given a small packet of canary yellow, vegetable spread. Snacks include pudding cups, chips, and soft drinks, and the only fruits and vegetables available are nutritionally-void canned goods. Okay, there are a few "fresh" vegetables available, but Mom says they are so cooked to death, that you don't even need teeth to eat them.
The good news is that the tide is beginning to change. More healthful choices are becoming available, but only if requested by the patients. Now that people are becoming more aware of the deleterious effects of non-foods (created by the likes of Con-Agra), healthier choices are being demanded, and a ripple effect has begun.
If the UK and Canadian health care delivery systems are to be instructive, it is crucial that our hospital systems not be taken over and operated by the government. Look at what the government has already accomplished through the VA system which it operates. Does anyone want to be treated there? Such centralization would not only eliminate incentives to provide better nutrition, but every aspect of health care would be the victim of the deadening hand of centralized bureaucratic control.