Canberra Hospital sends 360,000 plastic water bottles to recycling plants each year because the Government’s health policy is to use them over reusable jugs.
A spokeswoman initially said the hospital lacked the proper equipment to make reusable jugs safe, in response to questions sent by the ABC.
“The reason for this is that providing water to patients with water jugs requires specific sanitisation equipment as well as strict management of collection and refilling to minimise possible cross-contamination and infection-related risks,” she said.
“Plans are currently progressing for new dishwashing facilities at Canberra Hospital, with this equipment upgrade, ACT Health is planning to reconsider the most effective way to provide patients with water in the future.”
However, when the ABC later asked how the hospital could ensure hygiene standards with plates and other items at meal time without the correct equipment to sanitise water jugs, the spokeswoman said the dishwasher was equipped to clean and sanitise all items provided to patients.
“It is also important to clarify that it is equipped and able to sanitise water jugs,” the written response read.