HEALTH Minister Lawrence Springborg has dug into the State Government's Priority Capital Program to fund a new kitchen for Toowoomba Hospital.
Member for Toowomba North Trevor Watts represented the Minister today to make the announcement and to see what was on the menu for patients this Christmas.
"This refurbishment is long overdue and I thank the Minister for finding the much needed funds to update the kitchen," Mr Watts said.
He said that the new efficient kitchen design will minimise travel between different work areas while retaining the features of a more conventional kitchen fit out.
"Key areas of the new kitchen will include preparations areas, cool rooms and freezers, dishwashing and plating areas and office and staff amenities," Mr Watts said.
The new kitchen will remain a cook fresh kitchen where almost 1000 meals are cooked and plated onsite and distributed to patients each day.
Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Dr Peter Bristow said environmental health officers identified a number of areas of concern with the old kitchen.
"Given the construction of the building shell it was difficult to maintain occupational health and safety and compliance with the requirements for safe preparation of food," Dr Bristow said.
"The way a modern kitchen operates is clearly different to that planned 50 years ago.
Design of the kitchen will commence in early 2013.