There used to be signs up in the local GPs' surgery asking patients with 'flu to stay at home, rather than infecting other patients in the waiting room (they may still be there, but I haven't been to the doctor recently so don't know).
It's evidently a problem as people sit around waiting, that all their infectious/contagious conditions can be passed on via the magazines and toys that are supposed to provide entertainment. (I always take a book.) But you would have thought that a hospital would be better able to separate out such people, so that going to hospital generally got you better, rather than worse.
I can't comment on the rate of infection via hospital waiting areas. However, it is worrying that hospital food - so often the target of criticism for its poor quality as it is - can be a fatal source of infection.
The outbreak of illness related to hospital food reported here is potentially very widespread as the company involved supplies 43 NHS trusts across England. It seems to me that economies achieved by production on a very large scale simply result in lower employment across the country and a higher potential risk of problems. And that's before the quality of the meals is considered.
According to the article, the lines known to be affected have been withdrawn and production stopped, for now. But a number of people have died, others are very ill, and I know that if I am in the unfortunate position of being in hospital any time in the near future, I shall be asking for food parcels to be brought by my visitors.