Hospitals and health services

Hospitals and health services play an important role in helping staff and visitors make healthy lifestyle choices.

'Better health through prevention' is a key focus of the Victorian Government’s Health 2040: Advancing health, access and care policy.

Supplying healthier foods and drinks to your staff and guests is a measureable action that will fit into your health service’s Statement of Priorities to support healthy populations through prevention.

By providing healthy foods and drinks, your health service will:

  • communicate consistent messages about healthy eating and healthy lifestyles to the community
  • have a food service which aligns with the health messages of the organisation
  • meet community expectations about promoting healthy lifestyles.

The Victorian Government has announced a new healthy food and drink policy directive for health service retail and vending.


Key points:

  • Following the public announcement of the Nutritious, high quality and local food for Victorian public hospitals and aged care, a new healthy food and drink policy directive for health service retail and vending was announced by the Government on 12 April 2021. 

  • By implementing healthy food and drink guidelines, health services can contribute to the aim of caring for the health and wellbeing of their staff and visitors. 

  • This new policy directive will apply to in-house managed retail outlets, all vending machines and all catering within public health services. 

  • The new policy directive will follow the existing Healthy choices: food and drink classification guide for food. However, with new guidance for drinks. 

  • It will be a requirement that high sugar (RED category) drinks will not to be sold or promoted in all vending and in-house retail outlets.  

  • This new policy directive with further information will be announced around mid-2021.  

  • The new policy directive will be phased in, and health services will be supported and given sufficient time to meet the requirements.  


What do I do in the meantime?  

  • Health services should continue their great efforts in implementing the Healthy choices guidelines in all of their retail outlets, and for those who have not click here for free support to get started. 

  • Further information about this new policy directive will be provided in the coming months on this webpage and via health.vic.



A whole of service approach to healthy eating

The most successful way to support healthy eating in an organisation is to use a whole of service approach. This means making sure healthy choices are available everywhere where foods and drinks are supplied, including:

The Victorian Government has developed the Healthy choices: policy guidelines for hospitals and health services to help health facilities use a whole of service approach to healthy eating.

These guidelines apply to all foods and drinks available to staff, volunteers, visitors and customers. They do not apply to inpatient, client or aged-care resident meals.

To access the guidelines visit

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