Healthy choices policy directive – setting up services for success

Healthy choices policy directive – setting up services for success

When we visit, work or stay in a hospital or health service, we expect that there are not only nutritious options for all patients, but that it is also easy to find tasty and healthy options through the service’s cafes, vending machines and catering.

That is why, in 2021, the Victorian Government released the Healthy choices: policy directive for Victorian public health services . A first of its kind in Victoria, this policy built on the long-standing Healthy choices: policy guidelines for hospitals and health services, with a new impetus to start first by removing sugary drinks from health service in-house retail outlets, vending machines and catering menus.

Just over a year after the official policy release, 88 per cent of health services in Victoria had removed sugary drinks and met the policy targets for providing healthier drinks.

This amazing effort was not only due to the hard work of health services, but also the support of the Healthy Eating Advisory Service (HEAS) — a free service funded by the Victorian Government and delivered by Nutrition Australia – Vic Division.

Health services have greatly valued HEAS’s one-to-one meetings to support their implementation efforts and reporting via the new online Progress Tracker reporting tool; the Communities of Practice they ran for services to share their success and challenges; and all the behind-the-scenes work they have done with drinks suppliers to ensure a healthier supply of drinks through health services.

Having celebrated their removal of sugary drinks, health services are now progressing to improving their food offerings.

Providing healthier food and drink options to health service staff and visitors goes hand-in-hand with their purpose to promote health and safety and sends a powerful health promotion message to the Victorian community.

Check out implementing the Policy directive, and how services are making healthier changes for their staff and community.

Pressing refresh on drinks for Barwon Health staff and visitors!

Healthier drink options at Dhelkaya Health

Peninsula Health meets the Healthy choices policy directive

Revamping the drink choices at Swan Hill District Health!

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